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Glue from Frogs

Notaden bennettii or the Holy Cross Frog - the stickiest frog in the world!
Photo: Keith Power
Have you ever picked up a frog and discovered a sticky, gooey substance on its skin?

Well, the 'goo' from certain frogs is very special and important as it is actually being used to repair knees!

Two species of Australian frogs of the Notaden genus (Holy Cross Frog - because it has the shape of a cross on its back) make this 'goo'. They are very rare and spend most of their lives one metre underground and only comes to the surface during torrential rain. When they eventually surface they are easy targets for insects, so they protect themselves by covering themselves in their home-made goo.

When the insects try to take a chunk out of the frog, it finds its jaws and the rest of its body stuck in the goo. Instead of the insect eating the frog, the frog saves it for later!

Environmental biologist, Mike Tyler and his team, tried to test the goo. They thought the goo would be poisonous, but when they found it wasn't, they figured it made sense to look further into it to see what special properties it might have. They found it hardened within seconds and stuck well to the bone, even in wet conditions which makes it a perfect medical glue.

Australian researchers have already fixed torn cartilage on the knees of 10 sheep with this froggy goo.

It's early days, but this could be the start of a great product and another reason why it is so important to look after our environment carefully as frogs are very sensitive to environmental changes, and if their habitats are destroyed we lose the wonderful benefits that this animals gives to us.

By Freya Wadlow

Sourced from:

Thanks to Questacon for including Frog Glue in their great science show.

Also thanks to Mr Keith Power for the brilliant photo of Notaden bennettii (the Holy Cross Frog). You can see more of his lovely photos at: