Frogs have been trying to mate with odd things for 220 million years

Two western toads (Anaxyrus boreas) in amplexus

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Mating frogs may have been occasionally getting it wrong for hundreds of millions of years. We know that males today will sometimes select an inappropriate partner during the breeding season – a frog from a different species, a turtle, a fish or even an inanimate object. Now there is evidence that these mistaken attachments could be an ancient feature of frog reproduction, arising early in the amphibians’ evolution.

Frog mating is often hard to miss. In most species it involves a process called amplexus, in …


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