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Why have a pet amphibian?

04 March 2019

Why do people want pet amphibians?

We know that the trade in amphibians increases year on year, but what is driving the demand? This might be a no-brainer for many of you reading this blog. Why wouldn't anyone want to have a pet amphibian? In a first attempt to dig into this intriguing question, we reasoned that people who upload their videos to YouTube might be sharing what they consider to be the most important qualities of their pets. After all, why else would you upload a video of your pet amphibian?

We were about to find out!

So the truth is that people upload videos of their amphibians for all sorts of reasons. That was our conclusion after watching more than 1000 videos. Who would have thought that 'unboxing' would be such a popular category? We found videos of people driving toads in lego cars, tying them to helium baloons and watching them float away, as well as preparing a Chinese giant salamander for the pot. But we also saw plenty of much loved amphibians in people's homes, and we were able to look at the behaviour that was being filmed to give us some insights to answer our question

To read more about what we found, why not read our paper? It's free to read online.

Measey, J., Basson, A., Rebelo, A., Nunes, A., Vimercati, G., Louw, M., & Mohanty, N.P. (2019) Why have a pet amphibian? Insights from YouTube. Frontiers in Ecology And Evolution  7: 52 doi:10.3389/fevo.2019.00052

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