Quirky World: Kermit Sutra is the seventh wonder of frog world

Some of the stranger stories from around the world

USA: This just in from the Department of Amphibian Philandering:

For years, scientists have thought frogs and toads used only six positions to mate. It turns out they may be wrong. In a forest in India, researchers say, they’ve documented a seventh.

This latest entry in the Kermit Sutra is called the dorsal straddle. Like other positions — but unlike mammal sex — it’s aimed at letting the male fertilise eggs outside the female’s body.

Researchers spent 40 nights in a dense forest, finding male Bombay night frogs by listening for their mating calls and filming the action when a female showed up.

In a paper released by the journal PeerJ, S. D. Biju of the University of Delhi and co-authors report what they saw.

Once the female makes physical contact, the male climbs onto her back. But instead of grasping her at the armpits or head, as frogs of other species do, he puts his hands on the leaf, branch or tree trunk the pair was sitting on. After an average of 13 minutes, she repeatedly arches her back, and he takes the hint and dismounts.

She lays her eggs after that and remains motionless with her hind legs stretched around the clutch for several minutes. Then she leaves.

The researchers suspect that during the straddle, he deposits sperm on her backwhich then trickles down to fertilise the eggs while she encloses them with her legs, the researchers suggest.

Social media sensation

France:

A Wales football fan has gone viral after missing most of his team’s Euro 2016 opener against Slovakia while in a drunken slumber.

Gareth Tansey has become a social media sensation since being photographed with Welsh rugby veteran Shane Williams in the Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux on Saturday.

Mr Tansey got into the party spirit with thousands of other Welsh fans ahead of the match — but admits he may have “over-indulged” on strong French lager and red wine. Soon after he took to the stands, the 34-year-old from Milford Haven was out for the count.

Nature watch

England:

Two fifths of people see foxes in their gardens at least once a month, with the mammal a more common visitor in cities than in the countryside, a wildlife survey shows.

But only a quarter of people see hedgehogs on a regular basis as the species continues to decline, according to the results from 280,000 people about animals they spot in their backyards.

The RSPB, which ran the wildlife survey, is urging people to create habitats in their gardens to help boost nature, from making small ponds and “bug hotels” to planting pollen-rich plants in window boxes for insects.

Kampf gaffe

Italy:

An Italian newspaper has published Hitler’s political manifesto Mein Kampf, angering Italy’s premier and the country’s tiny Jewish community.

The conservative Milan daily Il Giornale gave the book free to whoever purchased the newspaper and the first instalment of William Shirer’s The Rise And Fall Of The Third Reich.

The daily is publishing volumes exploring Third Reich history and defended its decision by arguing that reading Mein Kampf is the “true antidote to the toxins of national socialism”.

Mud madness

Spain:

Thousands of athletes turned out at a military base near Madrid in sweltering heat to compete in a very dirty obstacle course event.

The Mud Day race was held under the slogan “running is not enough” and drew many people eager to navigate a slippery course that included tunnels, dunes, and even barbed electric wire.

Hero bride

USA:

A new bride didn’t let her white gown stop her from reviving a woman who was unconscious on a bench in Pittsburgh.

Julie Stroyne, a trauma nurse at UPMC-Presbyterian, was walking in downtown Pittsburgh after her wedding reception when she and others from her wedding party saw the ailing woman.

Her sister Kaitlyn Stroyne told the Washington newspaper the Observer-Reporter the woman had no pulse. She says Stroyne kicked off her heels, got down on her knees and began performing CPR on her while others called 911.

She says everyone was saying “the bride saved the day”.

Football falls short

USA:

An inmate involved in a plan to toss a football filled with drugs and phones over the fence of a Michigan prison will spend an additional three to five years in prison.

MLive.com reported that 22-year-old Myles Alexander was sentenced for his role in the plot. He already is serving up to four years in prison for a 2012 assault and discharging a weapon case.

The football contained marijuana, heroin, the phones and chargers.

It landed between two security fences, but short of the prison exercise yard in June 2014 at the G. Robert Cotton Correctional Facility in Jackson.

Christen D. Moore, who threw the football, was convicted of furnishing contraband to a prisoner.

The 24-year-old Moore was paroled in November.


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