Why The Horror Frog Breaks Its Own Bones

It's a frog-eat-frog world, and it's only getting hungrier. Live Science writes that a 2015 study determined that frogs are "generalist" carnivores that "will eat anything that moves," including each other. Their lumpy cousins, toads, also live in a world of heartless stomachs. Perhaps the most barbaric, bizarro example occurred in Hamburg, Germany, where loads of toads exploded because crows kept pecking out their livers, causing them to inflate uncontrollably. Holy moly, that's dark.

It gets darker. Some amphibians have defense mechanisms that seem more like Darwinian masochism. The humble pebble toad, for instance, tenses its tiny body into a ball and throws itself down a mountain to escape predators, per the BBC. Kermit has Miss Piggy to karate-chop (pork-chop?) potential threats. Nonetheless, the Australian Department of Agriculture, Water, and the Environment observes that feral pigs eat frogs. 

However, the award for the most WTF defense goes to the aptly named "horror" frog, which freaking breaks its own toes and turns them into weapons.

The horror frog goes hopping mad

Imagine cracking your knuckles. Now, imagine cracking those joints in half, so that the bones protrude like claws, and then decking a dude in the face with pointy chunks of bone. Can you feel the searing pain surge through your hand, as it bleeds profusely all over the other person's probably appalled face? Crazy, right? Crazy like a horror frog, specifically Trichobatrachus robustus. Found in Cameroon, this freakish fighter turns its fractured digits into makeshift blades when backed into a corner, according to ZME Science.

Also known as the Wolverine frog, the horror frog shares some noticeable commonalities with your favorite stab-tastic X-Man beyond the claws. It has strands of hair-like flesh along its sides that almost look like sideburns, though in reality, they operate more like gills. Presumably, the amphibian's ribbit probably sounds a lot like "Bub." Also, since amphibians in general tend to heal quickly, it's also possible that the horror frog's claws are retractable like Wolverine's. Either way, they're formidable bone blades, so much so that humans hunt horror frogs from afar, to avoid getting sliced.