Fluorescence Digital Image Gallery

Frog Stomach Thin Section

The stomachs of some frogs are very unusual. In a few species known as gastric brooding frogs the organ is more than just a place for digestion to take place. The females of these species swallow their clutch of eggs and allow the tadpoles to hatch in their stomachs. It is believed that the tadpoles secrete chemicals that inhibit the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach wall and cause the mother to desist from feeding. Once the tadpoles become fully developed froglets, they are birthed through the mouth of the mother. Scientists have been extremely interested in studying these animals in order to find information about hydrochloric acid determent that could benefit humans suffering from gastric ulcers. However, gastric brooding frogs are currently presumed extinct, the last one having been seen in the mid-1980s.

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