platanna, noun

Forms:
platan, platanaShow more Also platan, platana, plat anna, plathander, plotaner.
Origin:
South African DutchShow more Adaptation of South African Dutch plathander clawed toad, plat flat + -hander ‘-handed one’.
The clawed frog or toad, any of several species of the genus Xenopus of the Pipidae, including X. laevis (the ‘common’ platanna) and X. gilli (the ‘Cape’ platanna). Also attributive.
1856 R.E.E. Wilmot Diary (1984) 131Below in the shallows is wading the common heron, and the tufted umber, with his strong powerful bill from which no frog or platana was ever known to escape.
1883 Meteor Oct. 3Where once the merry, croaking frog made night musical and the graceful plotaners disported themselves in the crystal water.
1898 E. Glanville in Empire 24 Sept. (Pettman)It’s a platanna, one of them web-footed, flat-backed, smooth-skinned, yeller frogs, with a mouth that goes all round its neck.
1911 J.D.F. Gilchrist S. Afr. Zoology 224The..Plathander (flat hand) or Clawed toad..occurs in most pools of water.
1918 S.H. Skaife Animal Life in S. Afr. 214The plathander is a curious creature common all over the country, and flourishes in almost every pool...It differs from the ordinary frog in having no tongue, and in possessing claws on three of the toes on each hind foot.
1939 S.H. Skaife S. Afr. Nature Notes 169A few years ago workers in the Physiological Laboratories at the University of Cape Town showed that the platanna could be used in a simple and certain test for pregnancy, and nowadays gynaecologists make use of them for this purpose.
1945 Millard & Robinson (1965) (title)The Dissection of the Spiny Dogfish and the Platanna.
1950 W. Rose Reptiles & Amphibians 27The platanna is the only frog we have ever seen that is capable of jumping backwards and he can do this both in water and on land.
1958 I. Vaughan Diary 43On the banks if you go quietly you can see the platans and lakavans and sometimes great awful crabs in holes in bank.
1963 S.H. Skaife Naturalist Remembers 132The platanna frog, Xenopus laevis, is easily kept in captivity but the female will normally never lay eggs under such conditions.
1973 D. Hey on Radio South Africa 9 Oct.The platanna is used extensively in scientific research, and until recently in the diagnosis of early pregnancy.
1985 L. Dellatola in S. Afr. Panorama July 40The Platanna is so named because it cannot sit up like other frogs. It also has no tongue and, presumably, no voice.
1989 Picker & De Villiers in Afr. Wildlife Vol.43 No.3, 141When compared with other true frogs, platannas are seen to be large, powerful, and flattened, and lack the jumping skills so typical of the frogs and toads.
1989 Weekend Argus 4 Mar. (Our Living World) 6The six endangered species are the geometric tortoise, Cape platanna, micro frog, and Table Mountain ghost frog — all found in the Cape Peninsula area — as well as Hewitt’s ghost frog and Smith’s dwarf chameleon.
The clawed frog or toad, any of several species of the genus Xenopus of the Pipidae, including X. laevis (the ‘common’ platanna) and X. gilli (the ‘Cape’ platanna). Also attributive.

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