Nature's Gifts: The Hidden Medicine Chest

It's always exciting for a biologist to find an animal species for the first time, but the 1974 discovery made by Michael Tyler of the University of Adelaide was even more fascinating than usual. Searching a boulder-strewn, fast-flowing creek in an Australian rain forest, Tyler spotted a frog unlike any he'd ever encountered. While its appearance--brown back and cream-colored underside--was nothing special, its reproductive behavior proved to be downright bizarre. The female swallowed her own eggs, incubated them in her stomach and gave birth through her mouth. A single mother coughed up 21 offspring in the same litter.

How is that...

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