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Thursday, February 29, 2024

The Newest Species of Fanged Frogs in the World Has Astonishing Egg-Guarding Behavior

The weight of this new species is around that of a dime.

Although frogs are well-known for a variety of behaviors, like croaking, getting into trouble, and even confounding people online, their teeth are not among them. The majority of frog species seldom have any. On the other hand, there are around seventy species that have fangs. They utilize their choppers to fend off other frogs and even to help get their jaws around their crab and huge centipede prey as they hop about Southeast Asia. There may be just one fanged frog species left in the world, according to recent discoveries made by experts.

The study’s lead author, Jeff Frederick, a postdoctoral researcher at the Field Museum in Chicago, conducted the research as a doctoral candidate at the University of California, Berkeley. “This new species is tiny compared to other fanged frogs on the island where it was found, about the size of a quarter,” Frederick said in a statement sent to Infoblendr.

This genus has very enormous frogs that may weigh up to two pounds. This new species weighs about the same as a coin at its largest point. The new species is the tiniest of all the fanged frog species on the island where it was found, with an adult body size of just 3 cm (1.18 inches).

The frogs were identified by their eggs, which were discovered at three locations on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. The name Limnonectes phyllofolia, which comes from the Greek words for “leaf” and “nest,” was given to this species because it deposits its eggs on the margins of leaves and mossy stones.

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The group eventually saw the little frogs next to the eggs. Frederick said, “Normally, we search the edges of stream banks for frogs or wade through streams to find them right in the water.” However, after keeping a close eye on the nests, the researchers saw that the frogs were attending to their small nests by sitting on the leaves and cuddling them.

Upon closer examination, the crew discovered that every frog protecting the eggs, which were deposited 1-3 meters (1-2 feet) above minor streams, steeps, and trickles, was male. Frederick said that although male egg-guarding behavior isn’t entirely unknown in all frogs, it is quite infrequent.

A clutch of tiny black and grey frog eggs on a vivid green leaf
The Newest Species of Fanged Frogs in the World Has Astonishing Egg-Guarding Behavior

The team states in its report that they are certain the frog is a new species because of a few important traits, such as its modest size and egg-guarding behavior. Apart from this, the frogs have a species-specific cry for advertising. The cry of the new species is a quick succession of clicks, in contrast to the high-pitched chirps of the most comparable species, L. arathooni. In addition, L. phyllofolia exhibits less webbing than other genus members.

The team also speculates that in addition to this recently discovered species, the island of Sulawesi may be home to several more frog species that are not yet formally recognized by science. They suggest that to properly identify every one of these species and contribute to the preservation of the environments in which they reside, additional fieldwork is required.

Our research emphasizes how crucial it is to preserve these very unique tropical environments. Because of the extreme variety of species seen in regions like Sulawesi, habitat degradation is a constant conservation concern for the majority of these creatures. Frederick said, “Knowing about species like these frogs that are unique to Earth helps make the case for protecting these important ecosystems.”


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I’m Olafare Michael Oluwabukola, a young enthusiast with an insatiable curiosity for the mysteries of science and technology. As a passionate explorer of knowledge, I envisioned a platform that could not only keep us all informed about the latest breakthroughs but also inspire us to marvel at the wonders that surround us.
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