A rubber frog and crocodile skink have been given a luxurious new home, complete with plunge pool and mini waterfall, at Bristol Aquarium.
Aquarists at the Harbourside attraction have created a new habitat for the banded rubber frog with mosses, rocks and lush green foliage which mirrors conditions in its natural habitat.
Widely distributed throughout southern Africa, the frog gets its name from the rubber-like appearance and texture of its smooth and shiny skin, which feels dry when handled.
It also holds the record for catching prey with its incredibly flexible tongue which can extend to capture prey at an angle of greater than 90 degrees from the midline of the head – meaning it can actually catch insects which are slightly behind it!
The frog is sharing its new habitat with a captive-bred crocodile skink.
Originally from New Guinea, crocodile skinks get their name from their similarity to their much larger crocodilian cousins.
They are the only known lizards – other than geckos – that can vocalize and they make a loud squawking sound when startled or restrained.
Skinks also ‘play dead’ when threatened. In some cases so realistically that captive individuals have apparently been removed from their displays only to suddenly ‘come back to life’!
Bristol Aquarium’s Jake Graham said: “The frog and skink took to their new home straight away, scurrying off to explore the mosses, waterfall, rocks and new planting.
“We’ve already noticed they have established their own territories, the frog likes to be higher, the skink lower down on the rocks on the right hand side,” he added.
The new display is in the aquarium’s Amazing Amazon zone which is also home to a colony of tree frogs, poison dart frogs, a fire salamander and a tarantula. It was built by Aquarists Jake Graham, Charlotte Gee and Maintenance Manager, Mat Orlik.
Photo Jake Graham
Issued by Bristol Aquarium. For more information and to arrange interviews, picture or filming opportunities please contact Sarah Moore on 0117 929 8929.