Clawed frogs indicate
by action and reaction
a choice between shades.
Ensuring the welfare of animals used for research is vital both from an ethical stand point and for the quality of the research produced – animals in poor condition do not produce accurate or reliable results. The African clawed frog is a common research species found in laboratories around the world but little work has investigated how to optimally house it in captivity.
Holmes et al (2016) found that a black tank background produced lower levels of ‘stress’ hormone (corticosterone), lower amounts of stereotypical behaviour and a smaller loss in body mass than a white tank background.
As African clawed frogs are naturally dark green/brown in colour and use camouflage to avoid predation, a light background might be more stressful for the frogs as they may appear more exposed. Providing dark tank backgrounds could therefore be an easy method for improving the welfare of thousands of African clawed frogs housed in captivity around the world.