Frogs Hitch Ride on Water Buffalo—Never Before Seen
A scientist on a birdwatching trip stumbled across the unusual phenomenon in Turkey.
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. (Read "Dolphins on Whales, and Other Animals Riding Animals.")
“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.