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Clawed Frogs and Man

For many years, clawed frogs have been used as a laboratory animal in studies of vertebrate embryology. They were brought to the U.S. in the 1940s and used to diagnose pregnancy: the female frogs began to lay eggs when injected with the urine of a pregnant woman. These frogs were very inexpensive and adapted well to life in captivity. When modern pregnancy testing was developed, thousands of clawed frogs were released and have firmly established themselves in the streams and ponds of the American southwest where they are a threat to native frogs. The importation or possession of clawed frogs is now illegal in many western states.   Clawed Frogs have also been to space on the Endeavour to test reproduction in a zero gravity environment. 

Interesting Facts

Xenopus used in labs are often identified and labelled using a method call freeze branding, this basically tattoos the frog.


Their heart has 3 chambers and beats at 8 beats per minute at 2 degrees celsius and 40-60 beats per minute at 25 degrees celsius.

Their skin is covered in a thick mucous layer which protects the sensitive, permeable skin.

A small hook is present in the upper jaw

Large stores of fat are attached to each kidney, this fat is broken down to produce energy during breeding and hibernation

ACF's can sometimes re-grow lost arms