Somewhere hidden in a tiny patch of forest in the Western Ghats (the precise place I cannot reveal, to protect the endangered species) we knew existed one of the world’s oddest and rarest frogs.
The Indian purple frog, Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis, is as old as the dinosaur and looks a lot like a glob of jelly. It has a tiny head, a pointed snout like a shrew’s. And it spends most of the year buried underground, emerging on just one day to breed.
In another nook in the Western Ghats, in India’s most endangered Myristica swamp forests, we went looking for the legendary antics of the torrent frog (Micrixalus kottigeharensis) — nicknamed the ‘dancing frog’ by ecologist Gururaja K.V. The swamps here are perennial and perfect for these frogs that are stream-dependent.
The kumbara night frog. Its family is one of the three oldest families of frogs in the Western Ghats, dating back to about 90 million years.
The kumbara night frog or Nyctibatrachus kumbara displays something even more human than dancing: it dabbles in a bit of pottery!