Without a doubt: the world’s cutest frog

From Tastefully Offensive via Matthew Cobb, we have a video of the Namaqua Rain Frog (Breviceps namaquensis). If you don’t think frogs can induce squee, think again. It’s not only unbearably cute, but makes adorable squeaking sounds.

The inflation of the body, shown above and below, is a defense mechanism, as is the squeaking.

B. namaquensis is from South Africa, locally abundant, and, thankfully, not threatened. The one in the video above is covered with sand, so here are two pictures of its normal appearance:

They are fossorial (i.e., live underground) and the color pattern is, as you see, variable. They are not associated with water, and so the frog doesn’t produce tadpoles: the babies are produced by “direct development” in the adult.

Is this a case of convergent evolution involving felids and anurans?




  1. marksolock
    Posted February 16, 2013 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on Mark Solock Blog.

  2. Alex Shuffell
    Posted February 16, 2013 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    That is one of the best noises made by a non-human animal I have heard.

  3. abrotherhoodofman
    Posted February 16, 2013 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    It seems to be asking for a kiss. Ladies?

    • Posted February 16, 2013 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

      Now we shan’t try this on the poor froglets, or shall we?

      “…Although in modern versions the transformation is invariably triggered by the princess kissing the frog, in the original Grimm version of the story the frog’s spell was broken when the princess threw it against a wall in disgust…”

      • abrotherhoodofman
        Posted February 17, 2013 at 9:24 am | Permalink


  4. marycanada FCD
    Posted February 16, 2013 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    I love frogs. Use the catch and observe them when I was a kid. These are amazing. Thanks

  5. Posted February 16, 2013 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    We’ve had lots of frogs and toads in our various gardens, over the years. Unfortunately, the poor froggies also squeak when being swallowed by snakes. It’s an awful thing to watch.

  6. Spirula
    Posted February 16, 2013 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    My cat immediately went to the window on predator patrol as soon as I played the vid.

  7. madscientist
    Posted February 16, 2013 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    I had to check the link a second time; I thought this was an anti-caturday post. It still looks more like Yoda than a cat, but maybe I’m just speciesist.

  8. Posted February 16, 2013 at 2:32 pm | Permalink


  9. dogugotw
    Posted February 16, 2013 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Some years back we had a small pond just off the kitchen window. The pond was self sustaining with some fish and plants we added. The frogs, birds, and other critters just showed up to enjoy the pond. One day I was watching a small frog sit on one part of a small waterfall. He was watching sparrows drink from the pond. I looked away, then back and noticed some kind of commotion in the pond. I went out and found the frog sitting on a rock with something sticking out of his mouth. A closer look revealed he had swallowed a sparrow whole! I know birds are way smaller than they look but I had no idea that this smallish frog had the capacity to eat an entire sparrow. Very cool. I only wish I’d seen the hit.

  10. SA Gould
    Posted February 16, 2013 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    OK, that’s about the cutest thing ever. With squeaks so mighty they knock himself over!

  11. Marcoli
    Posted February 16, 2013 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    But not happy squeaks. To the frog they are a deafening roar that says: ‘look at how big and scary I am’.
    My dog (a friendly pit bull mix) immediately came over and cocked his head at my squeaking laptop. Now that is cute too.

  12. BilBy
    Posted February 16, 2013 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    There was a lady who worked with me in S.Africa who, due to her rather severe facial expression and large glasses was nicknamed by us herp nerds as Breviceps. She went up in our estimation (we had all been rather scared of her) when she found this out and was extremely pleased as they were her favourite frogs.

  13. John Scanlon, FCD
    Posted February 17, 2013 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    There’s a lot of ecological similarity in the habitats and biota of the Cape with southern Western Australia, where the Sandhill Frogs Arenophryne are a bit like this guy. They don’t have those crazy eyes though (or terrifyingly cute squeak, as far as I know).

  14. Posted February 18, 2013 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on biolojoie de vivre and commented:
    Squee indeed! You must watch this.

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