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African Clawed Frog: Molts to Molts

African Clawed Frog - Molting



What is molting? Molting is the process in which an animal sheds its skin or feathers for new growth. Humans molt too by losing strands of hair when we shower or lose small skin cells, but our bodies do this to help build new and healthy skin cells and hair back!


Our Sir Froggy Experience


We were aware that African Clawed Frogs molted, but we were not exactly prepared for what that meant. As mentioned in our previous article, “20 Gallon Tank Set - Up,”, our African Clawed Frog was in a 5 gallon tank. It was so dirty that we were unable to see the frog. In the 20 gallon tank, Sir Froggy is fully visible. In fact, once he was in cleaner and larger environment, Sir Froggy molted… a lot. This was the molt of the century!


We are not fully certain, but based on our observations of those first molts, he was molting for what seemed like a couple of weeks to a month. My husband thought that he was pulling off older molts he could not remove properly in the dirty 5 gallon. He looked small and slightly deformed in comparison to other African Clawed frogs. Sir Froggy is about 10 years old already and has had quite a life. After those molts, his color began to change, he became more slender, and longer. After he shed his skin, Sir Froggy would eat the molt. Sometimes these molts were clear and other times the molts had a tinge of yellow or bright green!


I observed him swim up to be in mid float and used his hind legs/webbed feet and cornified “claws” to pull the molt off his body. I wish I had caught it on camera, but I’ll make sure to carry my phone on me everytime I pass by the tanks.


For now, the molting process has slowed down and is not as noticeable as before. Sir Froggy looks healthier now and that is the most important to me.


Molting


Molting is necessary to the growth of the African Clawed Frog. When they molt, the African Clawed Frog is removing their old skin. According to The Links Road Animal Clinic, the frog’s consumption of its skin gives the frog added nutrients. This is not new in the animal kingdom. Aquarium shrimp (such as ghost shrimp) molt their skin and they eat their molted shells for nutrients as well!



RESOURCES:


Admin (2017, November 29). November 2017's animal of the month – African clawed frogs. The Links Road Animal & Bird Clinic. Retrieved May 23, 2022, from https://thelinksroadanimalclinic.com/2017/11/29/november-2017s-animal-of-the-month-african-clawed-frogs/#:~:text=African%20clawed%20frogs%20shed%20their,as%20they%20shed%20their%20skin.

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