Peadar na Breac's picture

A bit gory

Observed: 26th March 2010 By: Peadar na BreacPeadar na Breac’s reputation in Amphibians and ReptilesPeadar na Breac’s reputation in Amphibians and Reptiles
2011 Trout season March 23 037
2011 Trout season March 23 039

Two decapitated frogs found in the same location only a year apart.The first picture is of last years specimen which had its head lying beside it and when poked would do what any Frog would do and hop off.The second photograph is exactly how I found this years specimen.I was surprised to see another headless frog but noted how this one's wound was a lot less fresh than last years.But I got a real shock when I lifted it from the water only to feel it move and then when I placed it on a rock to get a better photo it sat prone and with life in its limbs.This years specimen had one of its front legs lopped off as well.
With all the Heron activity at this site I'm putting it down to them being overly enthusiastic with their bills.Unless anyone else has any light or wisdom to shed on the matter.

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anonymous spotter's picture

You may be right about herons -

they sometimes only take parts of a frog.
The reptile/amphibian nervous systems are much more "delocalised" than the mammalian system, and they can remain active for hours after "death".
I once saw an adder that was a road casualty on a forest track: still writhing an hour later. There is a reliable record of a rattlesnake in the USA delivering an effective bite 20 minutes after decapitation!

Peadar na Breac's picture


and they must have very low blood pressure too or is there another reason why they don't bleed out.
Last years headless frog was very fresh looking and it was still very active and strong well over an hour after I first encountered it.This years fellow was so much older looking it had to be hours,as I took the first photograph of it I said to myself this is from yesterday.
Thanks for your information Roger
Regards Peter

dejayM's picture

valuable comments

This has turned out to be additionally interesting today - read the ID and comments here