A green frog tries to eat a juvenile eastern brown snake.
A green frog tries to eat a juvenile eastern brown snake. Supplied

Killer frogs upset the food chain

IN THE green corner, there was a frog. In the brown corner, there was a snake.

In an unlikely match, this green tree frog upended the food-chain in a single gulp when it attempted to devour a juvenile eastern brown snake.

As photos taken by North Rockhampton resident Wendy Nielsen show, this amphibian is not afraid of throwing caution to the wind and experimenting with new predator-prey relationships.

Ms Nielsen outlined to The Morning Bulletin how she and partner John Gasby spotted this hungry hopper snacking on an 18 inch eastern brown snake under her house last Tuesday night.

“We saw it hop under the house, when we went to have a look. It jumped up on the block and we noticed it had a brown snake in its mouth and was trying to eat it,” she said.

Luckily for the snake, digestion proved too difficult for the killer Kermit and after a 10-minute struggle, the frog gave up.

“It didn’t look real comfortable, that’s for sure.”

CQ University researcher, Dr Scott Wilson noted that frogs are “opportunistic feeders” and often make instantaneous decisions which can sometimes result in them suffocating on their prey.

“If something triggers their response mechanism they make a split-second judgment to shovel it in their mouths, sometimes it’s too big,” he said.

It is not the first time in recent months that these slimy slayers have deferred from typical fodder onto more dangerous prey.

Last month, a North-Mackay resident photographed a green tree frog consuming what is believed to be a common brown tree snake.

But snakes are not where it ends for these carnivorous killers that have been spotted indulging in a range of dinner-time delicacies.

Earlier this month at Bondoola, near Yeppoon, 17-year-old Aidhan Johnstone ventured outside his family home to investigate frantic squeaking from his pet rat only to find the beloved rodent half-devoured.

In a further example of green frogs upsetting traditional food-chain hierarchy, photos emerged recently of another snake being devoured at The Caves, north of Rockhampton.



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