Iranian woman 'gives birth to frog'

By | May 28, 2012

This is a story published in 2004 by the BBC.

An Iranian newspaper has reported the controversial story of a woman who claims to have given birth to a frog. The Iranian daily Etemaad says the creature is believed to have grown from larva to an adult frog inside her body.

While it is unclear how this could have happened, the paper carries quotes from medical experts who say there are human characteristics to the animal.

It has been speculated that the woman, who has not been named, unknowingly picked up the larva while she was swimming in a dirty pool. The woman, from the south-eastern city of Iranshahr, is a mother of two children.

The “so-called frog”, as the newspaper puts it, has yet to undergo precise genetic and anatomic tests.

But it quotes clinical biology expert Dr Aminifard as saying: “The similarities are in appearance, the shape of the fingers and the size and shape of the tongue.”

Medical history recounts stories of people who believed they had frogs – or even lizards or snakes – living and growing in their bodies.

via BBC NEWS | World | Middle East | Iranian woman ‘gives birth to frog’.

Looking around, has the best additional detail I found on this story:

Accompanying the caption “Tests are being carried out on the frog,” the BBC published this photo with its story:

We contacted David Dickey of the American Museum of Natural History, who identified the frog in the photo as a Chinese Gliding Frog, Polypedates dennysi, native to southern China. He noted that it looked like one from the exhibition at the museum.

And that was exactly where the photo was taken.

The photo the BBC used was credited, in the lower right hand corner, to the Associated Press. It was a cropped AP photo taken by Mary Altaffer of a Chinese Gliding frog at the “Frogs: A Chorus of Colors” exhibition at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Her photo accompanied the May 25 article “Frog Diversity Museum Exhibit Opens” by Associated Press Writer Deepti Hajela.

Since its initial publication, the BBC has changed the picture accompanying the frog child:

Dickey called the frog child story “the worst, most ridiculous example” of poor journalism he had ever seen. He recommended speaking to the world expert on this particular frog, Kraig Adler, Professor of Biology and Vice Provost for Life Sciences at Cornell University.

Dr. Adler says the frog child story is “biologically impossible.”

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