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Incredible Invisible Frog!

Incredible Invisible Frog!


(hacking grass) – Oh, I heard it. – [Mark] Oh. – [Brian] Hurry,
he’s right here. – [Coyote] Get him in the
bag before he jumps again. Oh, oh, oh, he’s on my hand. – [Mark] I’ve been waiting
to get this shot for years. – (blows air) Look at that. You can see right through the
underside of that amphibian. (fast-paced drum music) (roaring) (water splashing) I love frogs, always
have, always will. In fact, I don’t think
I have ever met a person that didn’t love frogs. I mean, what’s not to love? So, when it comes to finding an incredibly high
density of frog species, one of the best
places you can visit are the rainforests of
Central and South America. On this adventure, the
Brave Wilderness team and I are back at the Costa Rican
Amphibian Research Reserve, where once again, we
will be working alongside world-renowned frog
expert, Brian Kubicki. (woodwind music)
(hacking leaves) Alright guys, well we just had an enormous rain
storm push through, which makes it the perfect time to head out into the rainforest
and search for amphibians. Now, we’re looking for
glass frogs tonight. We’re not only gonna be looking, we’re gonna be using our ears to see if we can hear them first before we spot them
with our flashlights. So, if you guys are ready,
let’s head into the darkness and see what we can find. Most species become
active at night. So as we headed off
into the darkness, it wasn’t long before
the sounds of frogs were all around us. Now, we had great rain
that pushed through, so there’s a lot of
moisture out tonight. But I noticed so far, we’ve been searching along
the edge of this stream. Is, like, flowing
water the best place to search for glass frogs? – [Brian] Yeah, definitely. Glass frogs, they’re associated
with streams and rivers. So, what we’re gonna
be doing tonight, we’ll be walking along
these smaller streams looking in the vegetation
growing on the banks. So we’ll kind of,
we’ll be going along, listening for the calls,
and then we’ll look according to what the
species call from. – Okay, well this looks
like as good a place as any to get into the water. So you wanna lead the way and
we’ll head upstream to start? – [Brian] Sounds good. – Alright, let’s go, guys. Watch your footing
coming through here and of course, keep your
eyes peeled for Fer-de-Lance. Glass frogs are
Brian’s specialty. So, our goal was
to find two species that we could
compare side-by-side. And it wasn’t long before we had the first frog of the
night in our sights. Let’s go ahead and get this
one in a little bag here. I got one in my pocket here. We’re just gonna use a
simple collection bag. This is perfect for storing
small amphibians temporarily. We’ll bring it right back
out onto it’s leaf tonight. – [Brian] I’ll pull
this down a little bit, and you can maybe,
you might be able. – [Mark] I think it’s
leaped to this leaf, yep. – [Brian] Oh, oop,
he’s jumped down here. – [Coyote] Where’d he go? – [Mark] I think he’s
gonna flip, though. – That shadow, Mark,
he’s right there. I see him hanging off
the backside of the leaf. (mumbling) There we go. Perfect. Oh, put him in the bag
before he jumps again. Oh, oh, oh, he’s on my hand. Got him in the bag. Hold on, let me come up. See him in there? – [Mark] Yeah. On your finger. – [Coyote] Oh, he’s
trying to get out. Other way, buddy, other way. There we go. – [Mark] Okay, Cool. Oh, there he is. I can see him on
the side of the bag. – The dwarf glass frog
is considered common, so it was almost guaranteed that we would come
across this species. Awesome! Part one of two. Now, we need to find one with
a transparent ventral side. Oh, stay down there buddy. Okay, let’s keep going. However, finding a glass frog with a transparent ventral side was going to be much
more challenging. So, we headed deeper
to the rainforest. Brian’s amphibian reserve spans over 120 acres of
pristine rainforest. It’s a labyrinth of
disorienting confusion. But the good news for us, was that Brian knew
every step of it like the back of his hand. Eventually, we made our way
up into a small feeder creek, the one place that
he was confident that we would find
the tiny treasure we had been searching for. – [Brian] Oh, we got
right here, Mark. – Yes, yes, yes. – [Mark] Careful, Mario,
it’s slick back here. – Guys, watch your footing. It’s really narrow right here. Oh, man, alright, here Mark. Let me get up to this spot. – [Mark] Okay. – [Coyote] Here
Mario, can you see it? – [Mario] Yeah, I’m on it. – [Coyote] You see Him? – [Mark] Yeah. – [Coyote] There he goes. And we got him. – [Mark] Nice. That what we’re looking for. Oh, man, that’s so cool. – That is the green
stripe glass frog. So, now, we have
the two frog species that we were looking for. Let’s get them back in
a controlled setting. Get him on a piece of glass
and up close for the cameras. Yes, this is awesome! Alright, guys, careful
getting back out of here. – [Mark] Mario. Man, yes!
– Alright. – With two distinctly different
specimens in our possession, we safely made our way
out of the rainforest and back to the
jungle base camp. Alright guys, and we are
back in a controlled setting. Now, this is the only good way to get an up close
look at the glass frog. And what I have right
in front of me here, just coincidentally,
is a piece of glass. Now, we have sanded down
the edges, so it isn’t sharp and no one’s gonna
cut themselves, and what we’re gonna
do is actually place these little, itty bitty frogs
on the backside of the glass, so that we can get a good
look at their bellies. Alright, now to get this piece
of glass to stand up right, I actually have these clamps. And what we’re gonna do is
secure one gently on that side and another one right
over here like so, and then I have these last two, so that it doesn’t accidentally
wobble and fall over, we’re gonna place right up against that edge. There we go. You see that? Now, that is locked in place. And we’re gonna position
this one right there. Cool, check that out. Now, that looks perfect. Can you see through there? – [Mark] I sure can. – Now, I also have
my SOG flashlight, my trusty SOG flashlight,
the dark energy. And once we have a frog
up on the back side here, I’ll be able to do this. Light it up and you’ll be
able to see right through it. – [Mark] Cool. – Now, what I also have is
this little container of water. And that’s because
I’ll be constantly keeping my fingers moist while manipulating
the frogs tonight. This water has been filtered. It is completely
safe for the animals. Okay, you guys ready
to bring out our stars? – [Mark] Let’s see those frogs. – Alright, I got ’em right here. Two little Kermits
comin’ in hot. Oh, perfect, look at
that shot right there. See the undersides? There is the green stripe and there is the dwarf. Now, we’ll get the
dwarf out first and let’s take a
look at its top side before we go to the belly. Does that sound good?
– Do it, yeah. – Alright, now I am
going to use this leaf and try to gently
coax the frog out. Now, we have worked with
some fragile animals before, but nothing is more
delicate that a glass frog. Okay, the dwarf one is right
where we want it to be. – [Mark] How are you
supposed to get it out? – Yup, so I’m gonna try to
slip him off onto the leaf. (intense music) Oh, on my finger. – [Mark] Okay, I can see
right through like that. – [Coyote] I wanna see,
got an okay shot there? – [Mark] Sure do. – [Coyote] Let me see
if I can just get him to hop right up on the glass. Go for it. Perfect, look at that. Like a little
sticky green booger. So cool. So tiny, too. Look, I will put my thumb
right up next to the glass. That frog is no bigger
than the tip of my thumb, and you can see– Go ahead and zoom in
on it there, Mark. It’s tough for me
to see that side. Look at that green coloration. So vibrant, especially
under the lights. – [Mark] Frogs have a lot
of personality. (chuckles) – Oh, they really
do, and you can see– Oh, look at it, lookin’
right towards you. They’re very, very intelligent. You can see right
now, it’s just looking for somewhere to jump next. I’m hoping it’s gonna stay
right on the glass for us. You’ll notice the skin
is very shiny, right? It’s very moist. And look at how
big those eyes are. Now, one very interesting
thing about glass frogs is their eyes rest right on
the front of their skull. Now, this is a great
chance for us to look at this frog’s little tiny toes. And they do have a very
minimal amount of webbing, especially between
the front toes and the back toes, I can
actually see the bones in the toes in the light here. That’s crazy, and look
how they can manipulate the position of their fingers. Look at that. You see how these left two
here are turned to the side. And these frogs are not
only excellent at jumping, but also at climbing. Here, let’s do this real quick. Let’s see what happens
when I light this frog up. – [Mark] Okay. – [Coyote] Ready? – [Mark] Mhm. Point it up at it. There you go. Yep, that’s great, right there. Cool. – [Coyote] Here you go, buddy. Go this way. – [Mark] Now, Coyote, why
are you using the forceps instead of your fingers? – [Coyote] Well, those forceps
definitely are not absorbing any moisture out
of the frog’s body. What I don’t wanna do, because
my hands are warm, is– Whoa, all the way
over the glass. Did you see that? That was a high
jump right there. Oh, on my arm. Okay. The heat from my skin
will actually draw some of the moisture
from its body, so that’s why I’m using the
forceps to keep it in one spot. Okay, here we go.
– I don’t see the behind. – [Mark] Yeah, yeah, see
the behind, we saw the– – Oh, ooh. – Yeah, here–
– Okay. (frog springing)
There we go. – [Mark] Perfect. – Alright. Now, you can see that the
upper half of its ventral side is not completely transparent. I wonder if we’re gonna
get out in a second you can see everything
on the inside. But from the back here, I
can see the heart beating. I can also see the
bones in the legs. And you can see all the
pigmentation of the skin. That is a real great example of why they’re
named glass frogs. You can see how semi-translucent
all the membrane is in this frog’s body. And did you guys know
this, that Kermit the Frog, the inspiration for the design
of that very famous puppet actually came from
the glass frog. And you’ll notice– Here we go, let me
see if I can do this. You see how each little toe looks like it has a
suction cup on it? And there is a great
little move there. You see how they just kind of
hop and walk at the same time? And when they’re up
in the treetop canopy, they’re moving around from leaf
to leaf hunting for insects. Now, they are little
tiny carnivores. They’re voracious predators
and every single night, once it gets dark, they’re
primarily nocturnal, they are hunting nonstop and
a little creature like this can eat bug after bug after bug. – [Mark] So, Coyote,
we’re gonna be looking at two species of
glass frogs tonight. How many are here in Costa Rica? – Ah, great question! There are actually
14 described species of glass frog here
in Costa Rica. Now, the two that we’re
looking at tonight are rather common,
but there’s a new one that was just described in 2015, and actually Brian, who we
were out with earlier tonight, he actually discovered that frog and named it.
– He’s the one who– Yeah, he classified it, cool.
– He is the glass frog expert. Well, that’s why we were
out with him tonight to find these two species. And I think at this point,
let’s get the dwarf glass frog back into the container and
bring out the green stripe. Does that sound good? – [Mark] Sounds good to me. – [Coyote] Okay, now, let’s see if I can just get this guy to jump right up
onto this other side. – [Mark] Perfect. – [Coyote] And let’s
if I can get this to just jump right inside here. Here we go and… – [Mark] Pretty impressed
by the jumping ability of these little frogs. – [Coyote] Oh, it’s crazy right? – [Mark] Yeah, they
can really move. – [Coyote] There we go. – [Mark] Perfect. Well, I can already tell this
one is a lot more translucent. – [Coyote] Well, yeah,
look at all of that beautiful speckling on its back. Now, they get the name
green stripe because oh– Kermit, come back! – [Mark] Where is he? – [Coyote] He’s right here. Frisky little guy. There we go. Now, look at all the
beautiful speckling on that frog’s back. This one is so unique looking, and they get the
name green stripe because if you look right
down the center of its back, it has a very
distinct green stripe. Now, you’ll notice the
eye structure on this one is a little different. The eyes actually
look a little smaller and the pupil is a
little wider, oh. Let’s bring you back over here. – [Mark] Frisky little frogs. – [Coyote] Yeah, they do
have a mind of their own. – [Mark] There’s a bunch of
yellow spots all over it. – Yeah, it does. That’s really cool
looking and you’ll notice that the toe structure’s
also very similar. And just like the
dwarf glass frog, this is an arboreal
species as well. I just really wanna
try to get it backed up in the center of the glass here. Okay. Okay, that’s a great spot. Now, it’s got this entire
glass to work its way up. And I love that, how they
just keep their bodies slightly off of the leaf. And again, that ability
to not only hop, but also hop and walk
at the same time. Now, the green stripe
is incredibly rare. This species was only
rediscovered in 2004. And dating back to 1952,
between ’52 and 2004, there were only four of
these that were found. Isn’t that pretty crazy? This is a very,
very rare amphibian for us to be looking at tonight. And he’s back down on the table. Let’s go back up on the glass. There you go. The only way that we were able
to locate one of these frogs was being out there tonight
with Brian and his expertise for not only being able
to hear these frogs, but then also being able
to spot them in the wild is unlike anything. He is truly the
glass frog expert. Alright, now, the top
side is very impressive, the speckling and green
stripe and those big eyes, but I know what you
guys are waiting for is to see the ventral side
where we can actually see those internal working organs. Should we bring it around? – [Mark] I’ve been waiting
to get this shot for years. – [Coyote] Alright,
let me delicately get it back onto this leaf. There we go. That’s good. And get ready for it. Here comes the jump and the reveal. Look at that. – [Mark] Oh, boy. – [Coyote] You can
see right through the underside of that amphibian. Alright, let me– Oh, no, you need to– Oh, where you goin’? – [Mark] Kermy. – That’s a cool shot. – [Mark] It’s really cool. – Hold on, I’m gonna
bring it back down here. I don’t want it to jump
off and onto your camera. Okay, I’m gonna get
him back down here. I’m gonna actually give it
a little dip of water here, since we’ve got off the glass. There you go, buddy. Alright, here we go. Here comes the hop. – [Mark] Dink. – [Coyote] They’re so
incredibly lightweight. Oh, there’s a great
shot of the leg there– Oh, and he tucked it back in. You can see when I get the
light right up to the leg, you can see right through it. You could see the
skeletal structure. You can see the insides. Oh, that’s so cool. – [Mark] Okay, I gotta tell
you what I’m seeing here. I’m actually
looking at the heart filling and pumping blood. You can actually
see the blood moving in and out of the heart. – [Coyote] That is so cool. You can see some of the arteries
through there can’t you? – [Mark] Oh, yeah. – [Coyote] Can you see on
the back side of the leg? I can kinda see some
through on this side. – [Mark] You can see the
whole digestive system. You can see all the
vascular system. You could see it all. You could see everything. – [Coyote] I would say out
of any of the amphibians we have ever filmed, this
has got to be the coolest. Look at that. Right there is the most
quintessential textbook shot you can get of a glass frog. – [Mark] Man, I’ve been waiting
to shoot this for so long. This is so cool. – Well, we have been to
Costa Rica many times and now we finally
have the opportunity to work with a glass frog that has a completely
transparent ventral side. Now, this one here is a male and what’s really interesting
about this species is that the males
actually take care of and look after the eggs. Now, they often times
will lay their egg masses on low hanging leaves
near flowing water. And when those eggs hatch,
the tadpoles drop down into the water and
that cycle will repeat. Now, let’s look at
the size of this frog. I’m gonna hold my
thumb up right there. It is no bigger than a thumb. And this frog is full grown. Now, the largest glass frog
species here in Costa Rica only grows to be about
three centimeters in length, but there is one
in South America that grows quite a bit larger,
if 8.4 centimeters is larger. I mean, it’s certainly nothing
like the smoky jungle frogs that we’ve come across
here or the bullfrogs that we’ve seen in the
States, but doesn’t matter. Size is not everything when
it comes to being adorable because this frog is
absolutely the cutest amphibian I think I have ever seen. (laughs) Wow. This was so cool. Well, it’s taken us several
trips to Costa Rica, but we finally managed to
get the tiny glass frog up close for the cameras. I’m Coyote Peterson. Be brave. Stay wild. We’ll see you on
the next adventure. Working with amphibians
is a difficult balance, as these fragile creatures
must always be handled with incredible care to
ensure their well being. Under Brian’s guidance
and expertise, we managed to not only
get the images we needed, but also safely
released the frogs back into the same locations
where we had found them. If you would like the chance to see some of these amazing
rainforest animals in the wild, make sure to visit the Costa
Rican Amphibian Research Reserves website to book
your adventure today. If you thought the glass
frog was fascinating, make sure to go back and
watch our first collaboration with Brian, where we
got the incredibly rare lemur leaf frog up
close for the cameras. And don’t forget, subscribe, so you can join me and the crew on this season of
Breaking Trail. (roaring)
(howling)

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