Float like a butterfly, sting like a big, hungry African bullfrog.

Filmed in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, a vast wildlife reserve in the Kalahari Desert region of Botswana and South Africa, the clip contains some amazing slow-mo footage of an African bullfrog (Pyxicephalus adspersus) using its powerful legs and long sticky tongue to catch and chow down on some local butterflies.

While insects might not seem like a very impressive meal, make no mistake: the African bullfrog is one impressive amphibian. The animals grow to immense size, with males easily reaching 4.5 pounds (2kg) and up to 9 inches (23cm) long. They use all that bulk to their advantage, and have been known to scarf down anything from insects, fish, small mammals and even birds.

When hunting, the frog will abruptly drop its lower jaw, causing the tongue, which is folded inside the mouth, to flip over and out, seizing the prey. 

In the wild, African bullfrogs live in very dry conditions. During long, hot summers, the animals will burrow deep underground and cloak themselves in a watertight skin cocoon made up of dead skin layers. The cocoon prevents body fluids from evaporating while the frogs hunker down and wait for the rains to return.  

Aside from certain birds, the frog heavyweights don't have many predators, but their tadpoles do make a perfect snack for countless species. And when you lay up to 4,000 eggs per clutch, there's plenty to go around! Luckily, male bullfrogs take their tadpole-protecting duties very seriously.

And if the frogs' size or commitment to holding down the fort doesn't intimidate you, perhaps their lifespans will. African bullfrogs can live up to 40 years!


Top header image: Ian White/Flickr