FACT CHECK: Is this a photograph of a real hairy frog? Here’s the facts..

Environment Misleading Nature

Some of the unique outlook and characteristics inherent to certain species in the animal kingdom is truly remarkable. With the advancements in technology and an increased number of nature photography enthusiasts, we often come across some unbelievable rare sightings of these unique animals. However, among those genuine photos, some images get manipulated and get shared hundreds of times as well. This is our investigation related to such a digitally manipulated image.

Social Media Posts

A Facebook user posted a photo of a hairy frog with the following narration.

“*** HAIRY FROG also known as tricho batrachus robustus. They live in Central Africa where they break their own bones in order to produce claws when faced with predators. #animals

Facebook | Archived

This photo was shared among many other Facebook users also

Fact Check

First, we checked about the scientific name mentioned in the viral posts, Tricho batrachus robustus and whether there is actually any frog species by that name. There was indeed a frog species with that scientific name. This species mostly lives in countries like the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria, Gabon, and etc. There is a hair-like part in their sides and legs. However, that is not similar to the claims in social media posts. More info about hairy frogs can be reached from hereArchived.

Getty Images

This frog species is considered as a living species that is deteriorating in their numbers. More details about their biology, behavior patterns, etc. can be reached from hereArchived.

Then, we searched whether the hairy frogs break their own bones to make claws, as claimed in the viral social media posts.  And, we were able to find out that those hairy frogs break their own bones to create claws to attack predators. More details about it can be found from here


Finally using Google Reverse Image search we were able to locate the origins of the image getting shared on social media as the hair frog. The image was published in a website called designcrowd.com which is a website frequently holds graphic design and artwork 

Web| Archived

The competition was held a few years ago and a competitor named Todd 1000 created this image using Photoshop software.

Some other fact checking organizations also did their investigations related to this image with the same verdict and one such fact check can be reached from hereArchived.

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According to our investigation, it was found out that the social media posts, getting shared alongside an image of a hairy frog are misleading. While there is actually a bizarre frog species named Trichobatrachus robustus in Africa, which has remarkable mechanism that causes thorn-like claws to burst out of skin when threatened, the image used to depict the species is a digitally manipulated image.


Title:FACT CHECK: Is this a photograph of a real hairy frog? Here’s the facts..

Fact Check By: Kalana Krishantha 

Result: False

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