ANIMAL ART OF THE DAY: a frog dissed by George Shaw

“Horned Frog” from The Naturalist’s Miscellany, v. 3, pl. 76 (1791-2) by George Shaw (1751-1813)

Maybe this frog wouldn’t look so happy if it could read what George Shaw wrote about it in its accompanying description:

“Should inquiry be made, which is the ugliest animal yet known to exist? The creature here represented might perhaps with justice be proposed as an answer: an animal of such prodigious deformity as even to exceed in this respect the Surinam toad….”


Or maybe the frog is laughing at Shaw for reporting that it “is a native of some parts of North America…principally found in Virginia.” This is one of the South American Horned Frogs, aka Pacman Frogs (Ceratophrys spp.), which as the name implies are only found in South America. (This image is most often identified as a Surinam Horned Frog, C. cornuta.)

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