Click here for slide show of the new species discovered in Colombia. I just posted a comment about it here.
February 8, 2009
September 21, 2008
Mongabay delivers some great news for scientists’ efforts to avert amphibian species extinctions. The yellow Kihansi spray toad of Tanzania has been in great danger of extinction because of the construction of a dam and the chytrid fungus. This new story about great work by the Bronx Zoo reports that there is a critical mass that is being bred (captive breeding) for eventual reintroduction to the wild. Mongabay did a detailed story on the species’ problems in Tanzania back a couple of years ago. Here’s an excerpt from the more recent Mongabay story:
September 21, 2008
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As he winds down an historic broadcasting career (but never confessing to slowing down), Sir David Attenborough, patron of Amphibian Ark, remains the best publicist amphibians could ever have. In this most recent newspaper interview, his anecdotes skew toward stories of amphibians. Excerpts:
“Even in the last series I did there is a frog which is not around in the wild any more. Soon my films will be more of an archive of animals which once lived.”
“There is a frog in Patagonia that fertilises its eggs in the male’s throat pouch. The female lays it and the male keeps it in its throat while it turns from a tadpole into a frog. Scientists knew this happened but nobody had ever seen the moment the little frog leapt out of his parent’s mouth. We took some frogs and created a special environment for them in Bristol. A cameraman and his assistants kept a 24-hour watch as the tadpole developed. After waiting for 100 hours the cameraman went for a quick pee – and when he dashed back the little frog was sitting there next to its dad. They were gutted. Eventually we did manage to capture the moment.”
Here is a photo from earlier this year capturing Sir David making time for a photo opp for Amphibian Ark during 2008 the year of the frog.
May 27, 2008
The frogmander story’s been out for more than a week and well chronicled on scores of blogs and other Web sites. Here’s the basic story. But this poster, on the Viva La Evolution! blog, is so original I thought it was worth pointing you to this particular post.
CHICAGO (Reuters) – The discovery of a “frogamander,” a 290 million-year-old fossil that links modern frogs and salamanders, may resolve a longstanding debate about amphibian ancestry, Canadian scientists said on Wednesday.
Modern amphibians — frogs, salamanders and earthworm-like caecilians — have been a bit slippery about divulging their evolutionary ancestry. Gaps in the fossil record showing the transformation of one form into another have led to a lot of scientific debate.
The fossil Gerobatrachus hottoni or elderly frog, described in the journal Nature, may help set the record straight.
”It’s a missing link that falls right between where the fossil record of the extinct form and the fossil record for the modern form begins,” said Jason Anderson of the University of Calgary, who led the study.
”It’s a perfect little frogamander,” he said.
Gerobatrachus has a mixture of frog and salamander features, with fused ankle bones as seen only in salamanders, a wide, frog-like skull, and a backbone that resembles a mix of the two.
April 30, 2008
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