HYDERABAD: An image of a hairy frog is viral on social media. Users claim that the frog is called a "Horror Frog". It is claimed that the frog is so aggressive that it breaks its own bones and forces it through its skin and uses it as claws to attack.

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The frog in the viral image is not real. The claim is misleading.

NewsMeter performed a reverse image search and found the viral photo on the website 'Design Crowd'. The website held a Photoshop contest where participants had to design a creative work by editing hair onto items. The viral image was created by a graphic designer with the username 'Todd1000' using Photoshop software. This hairy frog picture was awarded the first prize and was captioned: "For a few short months each year, the snow melts revealing the abundant and unusual wildlife."

Worth1000, now DesignCrowd, frequently hosts contests for digital artists. The rules for the contest make it clear that this is an edited image. "The rules of the contest are thus: Make it hairy – either add hair onto something or recreate an object out of hair. Anything Living or inanimate. EXCEPT FOR HUMANS. They will be forbidden in this contest."

However, a frog that breaks its own bones and forces it through its skin, and uses it as claws to attack, does exist. It is called 'Trichobatrachus robustus'. It is also known as the 'horror frog' or the 'wolverine frog'.

According to New Scientist and National Geographic, "the frog actively breaks its own bones to produce claws that puncture their way out of the frog's toe pads, probably when it is threatened".

David Blackburn and colleagues at Harvard University's Museum of Comparative Zoology, think behavior is a defence mechanism. "The researchers say there are salamanders that force their ribs through their skin to produce protective barbs on demand, but nothing quite like this mechanism has been seen before. The feature is also found in nine of the 11 frogs belonging to the Astylosternus genus, most of which live in Cameroon".

Evidently, it is clear that the claim is misleading as the viral image is not real. Although such a frog does exist, the viral image doesn't show that.

Claim Review :   Image shows ‘Hairy frog” that breaks its own bones and forces it through its skin and uses it as claws to attack.
Claimed By :  Social Media Users
Fact Check :  Misleading

Misha Rajani

Misha Rajani is a Fact Checker at NewsMeter. She is currently pursuing her Master's degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from St. Francis College for Women. She has written a thesis on “ Role of social media in highlighting injustice”. Apart from pursuing a career in news writing, Misha is also skilled in graphic designing. You can follow Misha on Twitter @misharajani00

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