Frogs Hitch Ride on Water Buffalo--Never Before Seen

National Geographic 

Water buffaloes in Turkey have been spotted carrying some unusual hitchhikers--tiny frogs. In autumn, farmers along the Black Sea coast release their domesticated Anatolian water buffalo to wallow in the marshes, where a menagerie of marsh frogs hops onboard, a new study says. But this is the first time scientists have described such a relationship between amphibians and a large mammal. "The initial observation was accidental, as is often the case in ecological research," says study leader Piotr Zduniak, who saw the spectacle while birdwatching in the Kizilirmak Delta, one of the Middle East's largest wetlands. Zduniak, an ecologist at Poland's Adam Mickiewicz University, and colleagues returned the next fall to northern Turkey and observed 10 more occasions in which marsh frogs clung to buffalo backs and heads.

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