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Members of the fascinating amphibian family Centrolenidae, also known as glass frogs, have skin so translucent you can see their organs right through it.

Looking at these peculiar creatures from above, most appear bright green; However, if you flip them over to the reveal their bellies, you can easily visualize the heart, liver, and gastrointestinal tract. This adaptation is thought to aid in camouflage.

frog 4Image: Heidi and Hans-Jurgen Kock

That’s not the only unusual thing about this family. “Studies have shown that glass frogs contain a unique pigment in their skin that reflects the same wavelength of infrared radiation that plants do, possibly another adaptation for concealment.” Amphibiaweb

What’s more, many species have green bones, and some have a spine sticking out of their arm to use as a weapon against other males in territorial disputes.

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Glass frogs originated in South America but have spread into Central America. These arboreal creatures generally thrive high up in the tree canopies of the rainforest.

Most species are tiny, only reaching 1 to 3 inches at maturity. Though small, glass frogs are carnivorous and survive on a diet of insects and spiders. They control the insect population, which makes them a valuable part of the ecosystem.

Nature never ceases to amaze us!