Meet the "Mountain Chickens"
Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is one of only five zoos in the United States that exhibit Mountain Chicken Frogs, one of the world's largest and most threatened frog species.
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Native to the Caribbean Islands, Mountain Chicken Frogs received their name from local islanders who hunted the frogs for food, saying they tasted like chicken. Considered a delicacy in the Caribbean, these frogs are still hunted today, and because of it, are considered critically endangered in the wild, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The chytrid fungus, responsible for the rapid decline of amphibian species worldwide, and volcanic eruptions are also to blame for their condition.
What else makes these frogs the "mountain chickens" that they are?
- Adults can grow up to eight inches in length and weigh up to two pounds.
- Consumes almost anything it can swallow whole, from insects to small mammals, even other frogs.
- Also known as the Giant Ditch Frog. Unlike other frogs, mountain chickens lay their eggs in underground burrows rather than water.
- Considered terrestrial and nocturnal with various types of camouflage.
- Restricted to the Caribbean Islands of Montserrat and Dominica.
Mountain Chicken Frogs are currently on display in Kingdoms of the Night.