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African Clawed Frog

An amusing fellow! (other names: Platanna)

African Clawed Frog
origin:South Africa
life expectancy:10-15 years
family:Aquatic
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History [ edit ]

The African Clawed Frog is an aquatic frog native to South Africa (sub-Saharan region) where it is known as plathhander or platanna, which means "flat hands". It is one of the 14 species (and the bigger) belonging to the genus Xenopus (meaning strange foot) and its scientific name is Xenopus laevis. Its habitat is grassland ponds, streams, and lakes in both arid and semi-arid climates and today they can be found in many areas outside their original range.   Its name (Clawed Frog) derives from the three short claws it has on each of its hind feet. Fossilized remains show that this species is very old, their ancestors going back to the Cretaceous era. The African Clawed Frog is famous for being sent into space and for being the first cloned vertebrate. In the 1940’s it was also extensively used to test for pregnancy in humans. Today, the African Clawed Frog has quite a lot of enthusiasts as an aquarium pet but prospective owners should make sure that keeping them as pets is not illegal in the area where they live. In some regions it is not allowed due to the possibility of their being released and establish in freshwater environments where, because they are so voracious, they can become a threat to native amphibians and fishes, including several endangered species.
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