The hidden tree frog (also known as the Japanese hidden tree frog) is the common name of frog found in the Japanese rain forest. These frogs are about 5-10 inches in length and are dark in color. Often confused with their venomous relative the poison dart frog, these frogs get their names from their ability to camouflage to any object they choose. These frogs are close relatives to the octopus. They share the same genes in terms of their camouflage abilities. They have color-changing cells called chromatophores that reside just below the surface of the skin. These chromatophores allow these frogs to be nearly invisible to predators or give them vibrant colors in order to ward them off. The amazing thing about this gene is the frog is able to control how each individual cell appears. It can camouflage to any surface, make its appear bright and venomous, or even pulsate colors to distract potential predators. The hidden tree frog was discovered only in the early 2000’s, by Japanese scientists around Oita. These scientists accidentally came across the hidden tree frog when testing the area for potential farming territory. The remarkable thing about this creature is that it was thought that only cephalopods had the ability to possess the genes for chromatophores. Now that they have found a reptile that shares this gene, scientists are curious to see whether the gene may be passed onto different species. The frogs are commonly found anywhere in the Japanese temperate rain forest, ranging from Kyushu in the south to Hokkaido in the north. 

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