Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: Frogs fall into one such group of amphibians that enjoy having sex in water, land and even leaves.
Out of the lot, some male frogs prefer reproducing on land. Do you know why?
A new research suggests that they do it in order to keep competitors far far away.
It was earlier assumed that natural selection drove frogs to take the evolutionary step to reproduce on land as a way for parents to avoid aquatic predators who feed on the eggs and tadpoles.
The new study, published in the journal American Naturalist, showed that some frogs hide eggs on land to reduce competition from other males who also want to fertilise those eggs.
"We thought maybe it's not just natural selection driving the adaptation to reproduce on land, maybe this is actually sexual selection," said corresponding author Kelly Zamudio, Professor at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.
In the study, researchers analysed data on reproductive modes for two families of frogs - Hylidae, or tree frogs, and Leptodactylidae, including about 900 species that are mostly found in Central and South America.
Frogs are known to have up to 40 reproductive modes, with new ones still being discovered.
The study sheds light on evolutionary forces that drive diversity. Also, the results give conservationists insights on habitats and species that may need more protection, Zamudio said.
(With IANS inputs)