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02/04/2013 07:33 pm ET Updated Feb 04, 2013

'Kickboxing' Frogs Battle For Highest Ground, Female Mates In Clip For 'Africa' (VIDEO)


A new nature special has captured a fascinating mating ritual exhibited by frogs in Africa.

The Sierra Leone leaf-folding frogs display their kung fu skills as part of the Discovery Channel/BBC co-production "Africa."

The seven-part series "brings the continent to life with never-before-filmed species, animal behaviors and secret, natural wonders of the world," according to Discovery's website.

The kickboxing frog footage is part of the production's "Congo" segment, according to Entertainment Weekly.

Mike Gunton, creative director of the BBC Natural History Unit, explained what's going on in the clip to the news outlet:

Although it’s a rain forest, there’s not much standing water, so if you need to lay your eggs in water and have tadpoles, it’s quite tricky. So what this species does is it waits until there’s a particularly strong rainy period. When it happens, the males will get excited and think, ‘Right, it’s time to mate.’ They’ll climb to the top of a bush and call. The male who’s the highest is the male who gets the female. He’s the best. So there’s a male who realizes all the best places are taken, so he has to resort to fighting. Their back legs do these karate, kung fu kicks.

The result is pretty awesome.

Verity White, producer of "Africa," explained the making of the clip in a web exclusive for Discovery. White said the story of the frogs' mating behavior had never been broadcast on television like this before.

While the finished product is sure to dazzle audiences, the journey had its rough patches.

In a piece featured on DiscoverWildlife.com, series producer James Honeyborne shared some of the close calls the crew experienced while shooting "Africa."

One cameraman was stuck in a tree for hours while an elephant tried to shake him out of it; another sat on a dead whale while it was being torn apart by 30 great white sharks; one of our boats sank in Ethiopia; a helicopter made an emergency landing in Gabon.

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