The nice thing about being a frog is that you don’t have to chew your food—just gulp, and down the hatch. The problematic thing about being a frog is that you don’t have to chew your food, which means that if you’ve happened to nab the aquatic beetle Regimbartia attenuata, your food might come out the other end in an undesirable fashion: alive and literally kicking.
Writing today in the journal Current Biology, Kobe University ecologist Shinji Sugiura describes how the beetle, locked behind the frog’s jaws, turns around and scrambles through its digestive tract. In carefully designed lab experiments, Sugiura found that 93 percent of the beetles he fed to the frog Pelophylax nigromaculatus escaped the predator’s “vent”—aka anus—within four hours, “frequently entangled in fecal pellets,” he writes. The quickest run from mouth to anus was just six minutes. The beetles then went about their day