These meringue-like structures, which help the amphibians protect their young, are renowned for their stability under the harshest of conditions.
Now, by filming Tungara frogs, researchers have found that they are built using a meticulously timed, three-stage construction process.
The research is published in the Royal Society’s journal Biology Letters.
The team says that knowing more about how the foam is created could help scientists create “bio-foams” for use in medical applications, such as treating injuries at the scenes of accidents.
Tungara frogs, like many frogs species, create foam nests to protect their young as they mature from eggs to tadpoles.
But while these floating refuges look delicate, as if they could collapse into the pond they sit upon at any moment, they are in fact remarkably sturdy.
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