Wolverine Frogs Have “Hair” and Retractable Claws

These fascinating frogs are peculiar — but absolutely real. 

Hairy frogs (Trichobatrachus robustus), also known as wolverine frogs or “horror frogs”, are unique amphibians native to Central Africa. As their name suggests, the male frogs are quite “hairy”, although the “hairs” are not actually hairs — they’re dermal papillae, which are physical extensions of the skin that protrude in ridge-like shapes out of the surface.

Remarkably, that’s not even their weirdest feature.

In addition to dermal papillae, these frogs also have “claws,” which they can flourish and retract like the long, deadly claws of a wolverine.

Now, these claws aren’t typically used for slashing, tearing, or ripping through human flesh, but the method in which the hairy frog deploys them is still incredible.

When faced with a threat, this frog actually snaps its bones, unleashing the claw protrusions through the opening. These claws are not true claws in the sense that they’re constructed of bone instead of keratin, but they are equally sharp and similarly retractable.

To release their claws, the hairy frogs have a small nodule of bone that physically breaks in half. To retract them, the process is slower. Scientists speculate that the claws passively retract as tissue regenerates around the exposed bones.

The hair frog is truly one of the most fascinating creatures in the animal kingdom.


Watch this video from D-News to learn more:

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