How Frogs in the Sandy Desert can Teach us about the Importance of Water


You might be surprised, but there is an amazingly hearty frog that lives in the Great Sandy Desert in the northwest region of Australia. This frog can store water in its bladder, and also builds fat up in its feet, which is uses as insulation but also as an additional source of energy and water.  The frog is a true survivor, and fills up on water during the occasional rain, and then can burrow into the sand and effectively estivate (like hibernation) for years until the next rain comes. The local Tiwi highly respect this frog, and they will dig them up and then squeeze them lightly over their mouths to get water.  They even have a myth about one such frog, Tiddalak, and how he stole all of the local water but was tricked into giving it back by making him laugh until the water came out.



  1. Johnson, R.J., Stenvinkel, P., Jensen, T., Lanaspa, M.A., Roncal, C., Song, Z., Bankir, L. and Sanchez-Lozada, L.G. (2016) Metabolic and Kidney Diseases in the Setting of Climate Change, Water Shortage, and Survival Factors. J Am Soc Nephrol 27: 2247-2256.