Heyworth, C. 2019. Interactive feeding technique: Elicit predatory instincts in the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) and grow a research colony of eaters. Laboratory Animal Science Professional 7(2) (June), 52-53.
Xenopus laevis have a unique process for consuming food. They lack a tongue and must utilize inertial suction, jaw prehension, forearm scooping, overhead kicking, and terrestrial lunges when hunting prey. The mechanism by which Xenopus eat elicits a frenzied behavior throughout the aquatic colony. Once the feeding frenzy subsides, about 10-15 min in total, no more food is consumed. This species-specific behavioral mechanism is not separate from the function of eating but rather an inherent and extremely important part of it. Xenopus must be incited to eat and then allowed post-consummatory activities, thus allowing for proper digestion. It is important to note that simply “dropping in” the frog brittle will not fully elicit the frogs’ predatory instincts and therefore they may not eat. However, by utilizing this interactive feeding strategy, predatory instincts will be fully supported. Food frenzy behavior must be elicited using appropriate food sources, movement that drives their inherent predatory instincts, and post consummatory activities that will enable social interaction and communication. Proper feeding technique is described in this article.