Frog in Flower

Scientists in South America noticed a Brazilian tree frog Xenohyla truncate feeding on nectar from the flowers of the milk fruit tree Cordia taguahyensis and claim they may have found the first known frog pollinator. 

Frogs are well known for eating insects but X truncate has been found to feed on small fruits.  Carlos Henriquede-Oliveira-Nogueira, of the Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul in Brazil and colleagues noticed the frogs also feeding on flower nectar. He explained to Live Science: “We observed individuals entering large flowers and leaving covered in pollen without destroying the flower structures.”

Other vertebrate animals, including birds, bats and small mammals are well known pollinators, but this frog seems to be the first amphibian known to actively seek out flower nectar and carry pollen. The researchers wrote: “This is a unique and outstanding example of unforeseen interactions between amphibians and plants.”

References: Live Science 6 May 2023; Scientific American 6 May 2023; Science (AAAS) News 1 May 2023; Food Webs 28 March 2023 doi: 10.1016/j.fooweb.2023.e00281

Editorial Comment: In a lush, dense tropical environment such as a South American rainforest there may be more amphibians that eat plant foods and acts as pollinators and seed dispersers, and they are “unforeseen” because scientists have assumed that frogs evolved to eat insects. 

In fact, this frog is a leftover from the original very good world that God created when all animals ate plant foods. 

It is nice to see frogs added to the even expanding list of animals that act as pollinators.  In the beginning there were probably many frogs that acted as pollinators when pollen grains stuck to their skin as they fed on flower nectar and were then transferred to other flowers they fed from.  After Noah’s flood the environment degenerated and many animals, including frogs resorted to eating other animals to survive as plant foods became scarcer and less nutritious.

Creation Research News, 30 May 2023

Were you helped by this item? If so, consider making a donation so we can keep sending out our newsletters and add more items to this archive.  Donate here.