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17 animals amazingly adapted to thrive in deserts

By: Jaymi Heimbuch on March 4, 2014, 9 a.m.
african bullfrog with mouth open

Photo: Stuart G Porter / Shutterstock

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African bullfrog

It’s not often you can find a frog that can thrive in deserts and even highlands with elevations of 4,000 feet. The second largest frog on the African continent, this bullfrog has figured out ways to beat the heat. It simply buries itself until the weather improves. During hot, dry weather, the bullfrog can burrow into the ground and lie dormant in estivation, a hibernation-like state. They slough off skin to form a cocoon to hold in the body’s moisture and absorb the water stored in the bladder. It can lie in estivation for long periods of time — even longer than a year — and can survive losing as much as 38 percent of its body weight. When the rains arrive, the African bullfrog makes the most of it, returning to the surface to feed and breed. It can eat anything small enough to fit in its mouth, from birds to rodents to other frogs. (Text: Jaymi Heimbuch)