The Brooding Father Frog
He sits on his eggs to protect them until they hatch, but he’s no rooster. He’s a good swimmer, but he’s no duck or swan.
The Puerto Rican forest frog, coqui, is among the most common vertebrates in Puerto Rico. They are active and hunt mainly at night because they are very susceptible to dehydration during the day. So important is protection from drying, that researchers have found that the frog population is directly related to the number of sheltered spots they can find during the day. The frog’s eggs, which are not laid in water, are even more threatened by dehydration than the adults. These frogs are important in the tropical forest because they are one of the forest’s primary insect predators.
After she lays her eggs, the female leaves for parts unknown. However, the dedicated father tends the eggs. The average male coqui will sit on the eggs to keep them moist for 23 hours a day, for up to three weeks. Without his care and protection, few eggs would ever hatch.
While this arrangement may seem strange at first, the genius of the design becomes apparent with a little thought. God designed these frogs to be major insect controllers in the forest. After she lays her eggs, the female’s need for insects is much greater than the male’s. It’s easier for the male to give up most of his hunting for food for three weeks than it is for the female to give up eating. Again, our Creator’s wisdom is evident!