Last year I wrote about the possible basis for the many variations of eye color in birds (click here to read that post). Unlike most mammals which sport a limited variety of pale blue, gray, green, to dark brown shades, I’ve noticed that frogs and toads, like birds, also exhibit a rich variety of eye colors. And so, “eye” wonder why?
But these highly colorful eyes are tame, compared to those of a couple of South American frogs.The variety of eye color in frogs and toads is astounding, as captured in this collage by Jodi Rowley.
Surely all this ocular advertisement has purpose — beyond frightening would-be predators? Any speculation from you, dear readers?
In addition to the flash of color provided by the wide-open frog eye, you may have noticed that frogs have the ability to project their eyes outward from their head, or retract the eyes inward level with their skull.
Extrinsic eye muscles that elevate the eye above the level of the head actually give the frog a 360 degree view of its environment. Movement of the eyes downward presses on the roof of the frog’s mouth, helping to propel food down the back of the throat toward the stomach. Eyes — the multiple use organ!
Cool info and photos, Sue. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see those topical frogs in situ? I confess that I haven’t thought much about the eye colors of frogs, but will keep an eye out for variations now.
What a great post! I agree – frogs eyes can be fascinating, and you did such a beautiful job highlighting all this variation. Love the collage, too.