This ‘Punk Rock’ Frog Can Change Its Skin From Spiky To Silky Smooth

KS Strange ScienceWe are familiar with amphibians and reptiles that can change color, but this frog can actually change the texture of its skin! This unique feature makes it the only vertebrate known to do so.

Dubbed the ‘Punk Rocker’ frog, or Pristimantis mutabilis, the marble-sized amphibian lives in the rain forest of Ecuador. It was discovered by scientist Katherine Krynak in 2009. According to National Geographic, Krynak spotted the frog while on a nighttime walk, and decided to bring the thorny specimen back for closer observation. Once she got home, she saw the frog was slimy and smooth, not what she expected! Eventually, the spines reemerged, and Krynak realized she had made an incredible discovery.

Scientists believe the shifting skin texture serves as a form of camouflage in the wild, helping the frog blend into its mossy environment.

PHOTOGRAPHS BY JUAN M. GUAYASAMIN (RIGHT) AND LUCAS BUSTAMANTE (LEFT), THE ZOOLOGICAL JOURNAL OF THE LINNEAN SOCIETY
PHOTOGRAPHS BY JUAN M. GUAYASAMIN (RIGHT) AND LUCAS BUSTAMANTE (LEFT), THE ZOOLOGICAL JOURNAL OF THE LINNEAN SOCIETY

After 9 years, Krynak and her colleagues finally gathered enough data to prove it was a new species. Now, the frog finally has a formal name: the mutable rainfrog, or Pristimantis mutabilis. But, we’re going to keep calling it the ‘Punk Rocker’ frog 🙂

This ‘Punk Rock’ Frog Can Change Its Skin From Spiky To Silky Smooth

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