The stuff nightmares are made of.

Today I’m editing a chapter of my book which is in part about the American Bullfrog, Rana catesbiana. It is our largest frog here in North America, impressive for its size (its hindlegs alone can grow up to ten inches long!), but especially for its appetite. In the words of Mary Cynthia Dickerson, author of The Frog Book, the bullfrog “is the green dragon of the pond,” and “will eat almost any moving object that it can swallow or partially swallow.” This includes birds, snakes, rodents, fish, young turtles, and even baby alligators. Opportunistic cannibals, they will also freely partake of the tadpoles and adults of their kind. You can see how these clawless, fangless, and venomless creatures are able to hunt so successfully in this excellent little video from National Geographic. It’s more than a little unsettling to think that if I suddenly shrank to four inches in height I would be eaten without a second thought if ever I were to wander about a pond in the summer. And judging by their treatment of birds, I’d go down tiny hair, tiny clothes, tiny shoes and all.

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