Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

10/19/2012 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (

Otton frog uses spikes which protrude from false thumb for combat -- and mating

Discovering new and unusual species on the planet Earth is a common occurrence, Now, Japanese researchers have discovered a new species of frogs that uses "Wolverine"-like spikes for both fighting - and mating.

Called the Otton frog, or Babina subaspera, these new species calls the Amami islands of Southern Japan its home. Both males and females of the species have the spike.

Called the Otton frog, or Babina subaspera, these new species calls the Amami islands of Southern Japan its home. Both males and females of the species have the spike.


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

10/19/2012 (3 years ago)

Published in Green

Keywords: Otton frog, Japan, Wolverine, species, mating, fighting

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic online) - Called the Otton frog, or Babina subaspera, these new species calls the Amami islands of Southern Japan its home. Both males and females of the species have the spike.

The study, conducted by Dr Noriko Iwai from the University of Tokyo found that unlike most other frogs, the Otton has an extra digit-like structure. It's a trait that the frog shares with the five-fingered Hypsiboas rosenbergi frogs of Latin America.

"Why these fifth fingers exist in some species remains an evolutionary mystery, but the extra digit of the Otton is in fact a pseudo-thumb," Iwai said.

"The digit encases a sharp spine which can project out of the skin, which fieldwork demonstrates is used for combat and mating," she said.

Studying the rare frogs since 2004, researchers wished to understand the species' distribution, breeding habits and range. These factors would be used in any conservation strategy.

Once Iwai began exploring how the Otton's use their pseudo-thumbs, she discovered that while both males and females had the spike, it was only used by males, who were found to have larger pseudo-thumbs than the females. Iwai believes that the spikes evolved for anchoring to the female, known as amplexus, the Latin for embrace, during mating.

"While the pseudo-thumb may have evolved for mating, it is clear that they're now used for combat," Iwai said.

"The males demonstrated a jabbing response with the thumb when they were picked up, and the many scars on the male spines provided evidence of fighting," she said.

Spikes which shoot from fingers are a key weapon for Wolverine, the comic book superhero. Perhaps unfortunately, the image projected by the star of screen and comic books is slightly dented by the frogs' fighting style.

Rather than dueling with thumb spikes the males wrestle each other in an embrace, jabbing at each other with the spines.

This fighting style helps confirm the theory that the spines were original used for embracing mates.



Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Green

Climate change underlying cause of chaos in Syria, Prince Charles declares Watch

Image of The 67-year-old prince, accused of


In an interview, Britain's Prince Charles says that failing address climate change result in the chaos that now grips Syria, plunging Europe into a refugee crisis. The prince will be speaking at a global climate summit in Paris next week. More than 100 world ... continue reading

Doomsday for Rhinos: White Rhinos facing extinction - ONLY 3 remain on Earth Watch

Image of It's too late, barring a scientific miracle for the northern white rhinoceros, however. The final three of this breed reside at Ol Pejeta Conservancy, a preserve in Kenya.


Nola, one of four remaining northern white rhinoceros on Earth has been put to sleep. Suffering from a lengthy illness, Nola was put down at the San Diego Safari Park this past weekend. Once the three remaining northern white rhinos at an animal preserve in ... continue reading

Excited for El Nino? Don't be, here's why... Watch

Image of Although surfers have had to contend with more sharks, the surfing has been better. For the rest of So Cal, the eagerly awaited El Nino will bring a nasty surprise.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The El Nino continues to rage in the Equatorial Pacific, now reaching nearly six degrees Fahrenheit above normal. The hot blob of water is already affecting weather patterns and the Southwestern United States can expect a wet winter. The caveat of course, is that the ... continue reading

Will the 2015 Leonid meteor shower produce the storm of the century? Here's your guide to viewing Watch

Image of A picture of the 1833 Leonid meteor storm.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In one week, Earth will pass through a stream of cosmic debris that will produce the Leonids meteor shower. Here's everything you need to know about the shower and how to view it. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - The Leonid meteor shower happens every year around ... continue reading

What the heck is a cryovolcano anyway? NASA announces discovery of ice volcanoes on Pluto Watch

Image of The New Horizons image of Pluto. Far from being a boring, icy world with few features, Pluto is a surprisingly complex world full of surprises.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

What the heck is a cryovolcvano and why does Pluto appear to have them? These are questions that NASA is attempting to answer following surprising new information revealed by the New Horizons flyby mission. At least two cryovolcanoes have been spotted and NASA thinks ... continue reading

Antarctica is gaining ice, and why that doesn't mean global warming is false Watch

Image of A Snow Cat vehicle, used in an expedition to Antarctica in 1957-58. Scientists continue to study the last pristine continent on the planet, to learn what it can teach us about the rest of Earth.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A new study from NASA concludes that Antarctic sea ice increased between 2003 to 2008, contrary to popular belief. These gains, all in East Antarctica, are expected to offset losses in West Antarctica. However, this discovery should not be taken to mean that global ... continue reading

World's rarest whale caught on camera for FIRST time ever and you won't believe your eyes! Watch

Image of The world's rarest whale was caught on camera (Salvatore Cerchio).


The world's rarest whale, which was previously believed to have completely died out, was caught on camera in Madagascar by a team of biologists. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Omura's whales are extremely rare, so rare that scientists don't know how many still ... continue reading

San Ramon, California breaks unbelievable earthquake record Watch

Image of San Ramon, California (not pictured) breaks earthquake record (AP).


Twelve small quakes have hit San Ramon, California within eight hours on Tuesday. Most were 2.0 and under and may set a record for the most earthquakes in the same area. The record sits at Alamo, which saw 351 earthquakes within a 42-day time in 1990. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading

Hurricane Patricia is now the most powerful storm ever recorded, and it's about to kill a lot of people Watch

Image of A fisherman checks his boat ahead of the arrival of Patricia.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Screaming hot sea temperatures in the equatorial Pacific have been spinning off storms all summer, sending tropical storms and small hurricanes into the Eastern Pacific. This year has seen a record number of storms. Now, a category 5 hurricane, Patricia, is about to ... continue reading

X-ray technology proves that California's forests irreparably traumatized by drought Watch

Image of Biologist Greg Asner insists that there is still hope.


Using X-ray technology, biologist Greg Asner took an expedition to see the effect the ongoing drought had upon California's forest ranges. Peering down from a plane at 6,000 feet, Asner found that things were far dire than previously predicted by the Forest ... continue reading

All Green News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • Your Daily Inspirational Meme: God is good
  • Daily Readings for Friday, November 27, 2015
  • St. James Intercisus: Saint of the Day for Friday, November 27, 2015
  • Bet you've never seen a space rocket do THIS!
  • Prayer For Courage HD Video
  • The Miracle Prayer HD Video
  • Happy Thanksgiving Day: Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Daniel 7:2-14
2 Daniel said, 'I have been seeing visions in the night. I saw that the ... Read More

Psalm, Daniel 3:75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81
75 Bless the Lord, mountains and hills, praise and glorify him for ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:29-33
29 And he told them a parable, 'Look at the fig tree and indeed every ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 27th, 2015 Image

St. James Intercisus
November 27: James was a favorite of King Yezdigerd I of ... Read More