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Posts Tagged "frogs"

Anecdotes from the Archive

Frog briefly gets a leg up on entertainment industry

5 legged frog

Mr. Jacob Stauffer, a naturalist from Lancaster, Pa., sent in this drawing of a five legged frog that was captured in Conestoga, Pa (near Lancaster). It was featured in the September 13, 1879 issue of Scientific American. The extra leg seemed to be a fusion of two hind legs rather than a full-grown independent limb. [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Poison Dart Frog Threatened by Toxic Gold Mines

dart frog

A tiny species of poison dart frog barely the size of a human fingernail has been discovered in a pocket of forest in central Panama, but its unique chirps may not be heard for much longer. The new species—dubbed Andinobates geminisae—was discovered in 2011 by researchers from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and the Autonomous [...]

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Extinction Countdown

In Limbo Since 1991, the Oregon Spotted Frog Finally Gets Protected Status

Oregon spotted frog sq

It only took 23 years but the Oregon spotted frog (Rana pretiosa) has finally gained protection under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. The small, aquatic frogs—which only reach about 100 millimeters in length—have been considered candidates for protected status since 1991. The species has probably already disappeared from its former range in California and in [...]

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Extinction Countdown

14 New Species of Endangered “Dancing” Frogs Discovered in India [Video]

dancing frog

Say “Hello, my baby. Hello, my darling…” to 14 newly described frog species that kick and dance like Michigan J. Frog from the classic Warner Brothers animated cartoon, One Froggy Evening. These “dancing” frogs don’t sing, however—the males of these various species all kick and stretch their legs to their sides as a visual cue [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Sunday Species Snapshot: Panamanian Golden Frog

panamanian golden frog

These tiny, brightly colored amphibians pack a potent neurotoxin on their skin. That toxin protected them from predators, but it won’t save them from extinction. They haven’t been seen in the wild in seven years. Species name: Panamanian golden frog (Atelopus zeteki). This is actually a misnomer. These “frogs” are actually toads! Where found: The [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Squeaking By: Frog Species Rediscovered in Ghana, but Invasive Devil Weed Threatens Its Survival

Arthroleptis krokosua

It took four years, nine people and countless man-hours, but a team of scientists has finally rediscovered the “giant” Krokosua squeaker frog (Arthroleptis krokosua), a critically endangered species that has not been seen in its native Ghana since 2009. Unfortunately the Sui River Forest Reserve, where a single adult frog was found earlier this month, [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Good Dads Help Rare Haitian Frogs Breed in Captivity

La Hotte land frog

It requires a great deal of patience and more than a few days to get to the few remaining habitats of the La Hotte land frog (Eleutherodactylus bakeri) in Haiti. First you rent a pickup truck in Port-au-Prince. Then you drive 11 hours west down the Tiburon Peninsula. At one point the road passes through [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Weird Frog Discovered by Charles Darwin May Be Extinct

southern darwin's frog

It looks like we’ve lost another one. The weird and unusual Chile Darwin’s frog (Rhinoderma rufum), whose tadpoles grew inside the vocal sacs of adult males, appears to be extinct: a four-year quest failed to turn up any evidence that the species still exists. The frogs were last seen in 1980. As you might guess [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Extinct Frog Rediscovered in 2011; World Takes Notice in 2013

hula painted frog

What was once lost has now been found. Well, it was actually found about a year and a half ago, but most people just seem to be noticing now. The Hula painted frog was probably never common. The species, native to just a few small habitats in Israel, was only recorded by scientists on a [...]

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Extinction Countdown

The Last 50 Corroboree Frogs and Other Links from the Brink

southern corroboree frog

A colorful frog, some Hawaiian mollusks and California’s threatened fish are among the endangered species in the news this week. The Frog Extinction Crisis Continues: How much longer until we have to say good-bye to the southern corroboree frog (Pseudophryne corroboree)? The rare Australian amphibian, one of the world’s most colorful and well-known endangered species, [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Amphibians in U.S. Declining at “Alarming and Rapid Rate”

yellow-legged frog

A new study finds that frogs, toads, salamanders and other amphibians in the U.S. are dying off so quickly that they could disappear from half of their habitats in the next 20 years. For some of the more endangered species, they could lose half of their habitats in as little as six years. The nine-year [...]

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Image of the Week

Tragically Beautiful

DFA186: Hadēs by Brandon Ballengée

Source: ScienceArt On View in March/April 2014 on Symbiartic Populations of frogs, salamanders and other amphibians are rapidly declining worldwide, and those that remain are increasingly falling victim to environmental pollutants that cause deformities such as extra limbs and ambiguous sexual organs. Brandon Ballengée’s work aims to draw attention to their plight through visually arresting [...]

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Symbiartic

Science and Art Exhibits To Launch 2015

15-001FEATURE

The number of exhibits combining science and art in some capacity has grown steadily since I began blogging about them in 2011. With exhibits in galleries and museums across the country, there’s something for everyone. Enjoy! EXHIBITS: NORTHEAST REGION WILDERNESS FOREVER: 50 Years of Protecting America’s Wild Places September 3, 2014 – TBD Smithsonian Museum [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Strange Bedfellow Frogs (Part 2): Pig-Nosed and Shovel-Nosed Frogs (aka Snout-Burrowers)

Marbled snout-burrower (Hemisus marmoratus); image by Ryanvanhuyssteen, CC BY-SA 4.0

A few weeks back – during the Tet Zoo frog event – I wrote about the peculiar African brevicipitid frogs, variously termed short-headed frogs or rain frogs. The plan when compiling that article was to write about a second group of frogs, closely related to brevicipitids. But time was short, the article became too long, [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

A brief introduction to reed, sedge and lily frogs

Hyperolius viridiflavus, photographed in the Democratic Republic of Congo by Nick Hobgood. Image CC BY-SA 3.0.

Here’s a very brief article to a group of frogs. It’s a slightly modified version of an article that initially appeared on Tet Zoo ver 2 during November 2007. Reed, sedge and lily frogs, or hyperoliids, are a moderately large group (containing approximately 215 species) of mostly arboreal ranoids that climb in vegetation at or [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

It’s the Helmeted water toad… this time, with information!

C. gayi, drawn from a photo. Illustration by Darren Naish.

Back in October 2007 (at Tet Zoo ver 2) I wrote a very brief article on a poorly known, gigantic, deeply weird South American frog: the Helmeted water toad, Chilean giant frog or Gay’s frog* Calyptocephalella gayi (long known – incorrectly it turns out – as Caudiverbera caudiverbera). Back in 2007, so little information was [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

‘Strange bedfellow frogs’ (part I): rotund, adorable brevicipitids

Breviceps frogs are not exactly the ideal shape for normal amplexus. This is B. montanus. Photo by Abu Shawka, in the public domain.

Suddenly and unexpectedly, I have the urge to write about frogs. Today we look briefly at the first of two behaviourally peculiar, anatomically surprising groups, both of which are endemic to sub-Saharan Africa, both of which belong to a major neobatrachian frog clade called Allodapanura, and both of which have been united in a clade [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

There is so much more to flying frogs than flying frogs

Beautiful painting of Wallace's flying frog (Rhacophorus nigropalmatus) by the unique Carel Brest van Kampen.

Episode 2 of David Attenborough’s Conquest of the Skies appeared on TV the other day, and I watched it (in fact, I livetweeted throughout, mostly because I wanted to talk about their portrayal of pterosaurs and Mesozoic theropods). And hence I have rhacophorid frogs on my mind – the mostly tropical Afro-Asian frog group that [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Frogs you may not have heard of: Brazil’s Cycloramphus ‘button frogs’

Things are not looking good for many of the Cycloramphus species. This is is C. boraceiensis. Photo (c) Ariovaldo Giaretta, CC BY-SA 2.5.

The world is full of frogs, and while I’ve made reasonable efforts over Tet Zoo’s nearly nine years of operation to cover some of this diversity (see the links at the bottom of this article), there are many groups that I’ve never even mentioned. Today I want to talk about the Cycloramphus ‘button frogs’, the [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Gladiatorial glassfrogs, redux

The same individual as that shown above, photographed 31 hours after a fight, and with injuries visible on his dorsal surface. Images from Hutter et al. (2013).

Readers with supernaturally good memories might remember the two articles, published here back in January and February 2013, on glassfrogs, a highly unusual and poorly known group of Neotropical frogs, so named due to their incredible translucent or transparent ventral skin. Glassfrogs (properly: Centrolenidae) are weird and fascinating for all sorts of reasons (if you [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Tadpole nests, past and present

Modern impressions made by tadpoles, photographed in a drainage ditch in Tennessee in 1958, from Maher (1962). A pipe serves as a scale.

Thanks to that recent Tet Zoo article about American spadefoot toads and their tadpoles, I’ve had visions in my mind of drying ephemeral pools in hot, arid environments, crammed with crowded, gasping tadpoles. All are racing to complete metamorphosis before what remains of the water is finally gone… It’s a sad scene, replayed annually in [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

North American spadefoot toads and their incredible fast-metamorphosing, polymorphic tadpoles

There are essentially NO creative common images depicting spadefoot toad cannibalism (what the hell?), so I had to create my own. This images (based on various photos) depicts a cannibalistic encounter between a carnivore-morph Spea tadpole and an omnivore-morph one. Image by Darren Naish.

Time for more spadefoot toads (that is, members of the anuran clade Pelobatoidea or Anomocoela). This time, we’re going to look at the two North American spadefoot toad genera (Spea and Scaphiopus). Like megophryids (the horned spadefoot toads discussed in the previous article) these have, conventionally, been classified as part of the Old World spadefoot [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Megophrys: so much more than Megophrys nasuta

Profile of M. nasuta by O. Leillinger, photo CC BY-SA 3.0.

In the previous article, we looked at parsley frogs or pelodytids – a small and conservative lineage within the anuran clade Pelobatoidea (also known as Anomocoela, and commonly as the spadefoot toads). Parsley frogs are very nice, but they’re dull compared to certain other pelobatoid lineages, especially the (sometimes) rather spectacular megophryids (or megophryines) of [...]

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