Sunday, November 4, 2012

Art Imitates Nature

Or perhaps it is the other way around.  In the case of this frog, which was unknown to scientist as well as Stan Lee, it appears to be a case of convergent evolution. Below is the "Wolverine Frog." A frog that has a boney claw that it can extend to hold its position when mating as well as for using it in battle. 

There are actually two kinds of frogs that do something similar. 

The Otton Frog from Japan

This one, hails from Japan, which is appropriate for other reasons, and pushes an existing boney spine through its hand. The other however, actually breaks the bones in its hand and pushes the broekn in through its soft toe pads. The fact that that males grow visceral hair on each side gives this species as much claim to the Wolverine lineage as the Japanese one. 

The Hairy Frog from Central Africa
The broken bones protrude through the tips of the finger pads

If you think breaking your hands for clawing purposes or unsheathing a boney spine through your hand sounds about as painful as anything there is another amphibian who might claim top prize for protection involving self-mutilation. The Spanish or Iberian ribbed newt pushes its ribs through its sides as a means of defense. Not only do the sharp points on the ribs stick through the newts side, but they get coated with a poisonous secretion making this one of the most dynamic protection processes ever to evolve. 

                     When annoyed the newt moves its ribs forward                                                  

tomography shows the sharp points on the ribs

The poisonous secretion that coat the rib tips

poisonous rob barbs sticking through to
discourage even the hungriest of predators

Dear Marvel, 
     If history is any indication, you are currently gearing up for a new altered reality of all the characters we have grown familiar with. In this alternate universe, reality, reboot, new timeline, fee free to take a few notes from the above newt and lets have some side-spliting poison barbs show up at some point.  If nothing else it will give your writers a great challenge coming up with the sound effects for protruding ribs.