Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Cute Little Frogs! (Do They Croak? WILL They Croak?)

One of the species of miniaturised frog found in the Brazilian Atlantic forest. Photo: Luiz Fernando Ribeiro, CC BY SA
Seven new species of frogs have been discovered in the cloud forests of Brazil. Good for them for hiding there!

Here's part of the fascinating information about these frogs: The largest one is about 13mm long, even as an adult. They can be this small because they have evolved with fewer fingers and toes. This miniaturization also means they can emerge from their eggs as full adults, not going through the tadpole stage; and they can survive away from water (as long as they can soak water from damp ground through their skin).

How long will these little guys survive now?

“The really big concern is climate change because the cloud forest depends on the delicate balance between the water that comes form the ocean and the topography. If there’s some sort of warming it’s possible that that sort of really humid forest will disappear and with that all the endemic species, not only our frogs but other types of organisms,” said Marcio Pie, a professor at the Universidade Federal do ParanĂ¡, who led the group that discovered the frogs.

But they have a better chance of surviving a fungus that is killing off many frog species around the world. More than 200 frog species of frog have declined or gone extinct because of the fungus. Pie said the frogs may be protected from chytrid by their ability to survive away from the water sources where the fungus is often found.

1 comment:

AskTheGeologist said...