Fun Fact Friday: Northern Leopard Frog

(Brian Gratwicke/Wikimedia Commons)

(Brian Gratwicke/Wikimedia Commons)

Did you know that the northern leopard frog uses its eyes to help with swallowing food? It’s true!

The frog, also known as Rana pipiens, retracts its eyes and uses them to help push food down its throat.

According to The Journal of Experimental Biology:

“Eye retraction can occur bilaterally or unilaterally, and both swallowing movements and eye retraction can occur separately as well as together. During swallowing, cineradiography shows that the eyes and associated musculature retract well into the oropharynx and appear to make contact with the prey item. This contact appears to help push the prey toward the esophagus, and it may also serve to anchor the prey for tongue-based transport.”

As you can see, there’s more to this frog’s eating habits than meets the eye….unless you’re a northern leopard frog!

Want to learn more about frogs? Check out Frogs: Facts and Folklore on Discovery Education Science Techbook!


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