The next time you happen to be trudging across the shallow sandy river bottom of the Sanaga in the South Province of Cameroon in West Africa, your first impression upon spying such a female Conraua goliath, or Goliath Frog, might be that she’s just about the ugliest anuran you’ve ever cast your peepers upon.
But, oh, contraire! To any of a number of male Goliath Frogs, this babe is actually quite fetching — especially so when encountered suddenly along a moist rainforest path in the dappled moonlight, late on a Saturday evening (or, rather, early Sunday morning) with one’s froggy stomach gorged on the locally fermented raffia palm beverage, fitchuk. These honeys can readily extend quite a length of shapely frog’s leg to any passing dude.
It is thus no wonder that males of this huge frog species — with adults often a full foot in length and up to 8 pounds in weight — will push rocks into a spawning circle to entice such a non-mammalian madam. This encircling rock-pushing is a must, for the Goliath Frogs have no vocal sac, so males cannot resort to historically tried and true methods, like “Did it hurt when you fell down from heaven?”, “Hey, babe, what’s your sign?”, and “Guess whose luxury sports sedan that is out there!”.
And don’t let your anthropocentric ideals of feminine beauty and animal appeal delude you. These gals get around, for Goliath Frogs of the fairer sex currently occupy the royal thrones of tribes of the Yoruba, the Ijaw, and the Hausa/Falani, to name but a few.
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