The wrath of an African bullfrog (Pyxicephalus adspersus) is not to be underestimated. EcoTraining guide Jan-Hendrik Hanekom found that out in frightening fashion when he filmed one of these hostile leapers in a game reserve in South Africa. 

Wait for it ... wait for it ... 3,2,1, DEATH!

We haven't seen a surprise scare this good since Bilbo Baggins's semi-possessed lunge for the ring.


Known for their aggressive behaviour, these humongous frogs are the second-largest in Africa: we're talking bodies that can grow to the size of dinner plates and a hefty bulk of up to one kilogram (2.2 lbs). Found across the southern part of the continent, the frogs usually emerge from their underground burrows in the rainy summer months to breed (and attack people who dare to film them up close). This bloated bully, however, was probably just protecting his brood.

After establishing a territory and mating with a female (an act that cannot be unseen), male bullfrogs will often stick around to protect their spawn until the youngins can hop on their own. The doting dads have even been recorded digging channels from one pool to another to prevent tadpoles from becoming stranded in drying puddles. As for any potentially threatening creature that gets too close ... well, you watched the clip.

Bullfrogs are armed with tooth-like spines called odontoids that can cause considerable damage, although they're more often used to grip prey before it's swallowed whole. A meal can be anything from a swarm of butterflies to small mammals and even birds. 

The frogs are usually only seen from October to March, and once all the mating and fatherly duties are done, they claw their way back underground where they conceal their squishy bodies in watertight cocoons crafted from dead skin layers. Bullfrogs are the weirdest.



Header image: Peter Webb