The discovery of the first instance that necrophilia is a beneficial adaptation in at least one species of frogs was reported in the Journal of Natural History by Brazilian scientists on Feb. 18, 2013.
The tiny Central Amazonian frog Rhinella proboscidea has developed an evolutionary adaptation that counteracts the normal breeding behavior of most frog species. At the right time, competition for females can produce such a host of suitors that the female is crushed and killed by the onslaught of “horny” toads - actually frogs.
The persistence of this behavior could endanger or eliminate the species but Rhinella proboscidea has manifested an adaptation that assures species survival.
Males of the Rhinella proboscidea species will extract oocytes (egg cells) from the abdomens of dead females that have been killed in the mating crush and fertilize those oocytes thus perpetuating the species. The behavior also gives the less vigorous males an opportunity to add to the gene pool.
The behavior that the researchers have dubbed ‘functional necrophilia strategy’ is the first observation of such behavior in frogs or any other species that gives all appearance of an evolutionarily positive adaptation.
Just one of the many oddities that are yet to be found in the ever diminishing rain forests of Central and South America.