This is the last sound I was expecting to hear from this rugged looking odd little creature. It sounds just my dog’s squeaky toys, in fact every time I play it my dog and cat come running in the room to investigate. Apparently, I am not alone in my squeaky toy opinion. This frog became popular when an amateur photographer captured a rare video of the frog vocalizing its high pitched squeaks. He posted the video on Youtube with the hilarious caption “Fearsome War Cry”. Since then the video has had over 12 million hits.
This is the desert rain frog, and sadly this living squeaky toy is listed as “vulnerable” in the IUCN Red List of Threatened species. These guys are rare indeed as their total habitat is less than 770 square miles. The frogs are disappearing as their habitat is getting smaller and smaller due to opencast diamond mining in the area.
If you would like to seek out these plump little fellas, you’ll need to journey to the southwestern coast of South Africa. The frog gets its name based on the climate. They live in an area of sand dunes that is often covered in a deep fog rolling in from the sea. This supplies the otherwise arid desert with a lot of moisture. The area is plush with vegetation and beautiful desert blooms.
You’ll need to set out at night as they are nocturnal creatures. Bring your head lamp and look down; these critters have uniquely shaped spade like feet with webbed toes, so their distinct footprints embedded in the sand dunes are easily tracked. Next, look for some poop, that’s right these gorgeous frogs feast upon the insects that live on dung.
Once you find this brave warrior, make sure your phone is ready to record the most epic “Fearsome War Cry” nature could possibly produce!