At first glance, they seem an unlikely pair: the massive, horned water buffalo that grazes along the Black Sea coast, and the tiny marsh frog.
After the accidental discovery of an Anatolian water buffalo covered in hitchhiking amphibians, however, researchers now say the two may have a relationship of biological importance.
A new study on the bizarre behaviour has found that this previously undescribed interaction may actually be common, with buffalo seen to host 2-5 frogs at a time on numerous occasions – and in one case, 27 frogs were perched atop a single buffalo.
According with National Geographic, 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.
Some birds forage on top of large mammals, including cattle, rhinos, and zebras. But this is the first time scientists have described such a relationship between amphibians and a large mamm
So why were the frogs hitching rides? There’s one strong clue: Most of the frogs were eating insects that live in the buffaloes’ shaggy coat, similar to how some birds feed on large mammals.
The frogs eat flies and other insects that congregate on the buffalo.
PHOTOGRAPH BY NIZAMETTIN YAVUZ