Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. Earth Science News .




WOOD PILE
New three-fingered frog discovered in southern Brazil
by Staff Writers
Guaraquecaba, Brazil (AFP) Nov 02, 2012


On a trek across this Atlantic rainforest reserve in southern Brazil, biologist Michel Garey recalled how on his birthday in 2007 he chanced upon what turned out to be a new species of tiny, three-fingered frogs.

"I was doing research with two friends on a hilltop in the reserve and I stumbled into this unusual frog with only three fingers," he told a small group of reporters this week on a tour of Salto Morato, a nature preserve owned by Brazil's leading cosmetic firm Boticario.

"It happened on February 14, 2007: My birthday. What a treat!" he said.

But it was not until June this year that the discovery of this new species -- Brachycephalus tridactylus -- was officially established. A report on his finding was published in Herpetologica, a quarterly international journal focusing on study and conservation of amphibians and reptiles.

"At the time I was doing some other work related to ecology and I figured I could wait as no one else doing frog research would have access to the area," Garey said.

"It took me 18 months from early 2011 to collect seven of the new frogs, go to museums to compare them with other species, realize that they were new, write my paper and have it published in the journal."

The tiny brachycephalus tridactylus was found at an altitude of around 900 meters (3,000 feet). Its most striking feature is the absence of a fourth finger, which Garey attributes to an evolutionary process rather than to environmental effects.

The frog, which measures less than 1.5-centimeters in length, is mostly orange with olive-gray spots and dots on its body.

Garey said the male frog makes around 30 mating calls a day, sounds he described as "a single short note that decreases in dominant frequency from beginning to end."

Garey said he could not estimate the frog population, but plans to do so in a future research project.

The frog is part of 43 amphibian species found in this 2,253-hectare (5,567-acre) reserve, located in Guaraquecaba, the easternmost city in the southern state of Parana.

Experts estimate around 950 amphibian species live across Brazil and more than 6,700 around the world.

Amphibians -- cold-blooded animals such as frogs, toads, salamanders and newts -- are increasingly threatened by climate change, pollution, and the emergence of a deadly and infectious fungal disease, which has been linked to global warming.

One-third of the known species are threatened with extinction, according to the Global Amphibian Assessment, an extensive survey of the world's amphibian species. More than 120 species are believed to have gone extinct since 1980.

Frogs spend part of their life in water and on land, so understanding their complex life cycle is crucial because they can serve as "bioindicators of environmental quality", said Garey.

Frogs "have permeable skin which make them more susceptible to ultra-violet radiation and their body temperatures change with the environment," Garey said.

"As larvae in the water, they eat various organisms such as algae and as adults they eat insects. The larvae are also eaten by fish while the adults are eaten by cobras and mammals," he added. "So they are having a cascade effect in the food chain."

Garey is able to recognize different species by the male's distinctive mating calls.

During a night foray into the soggy forest, Garey suddenly bolted into a nearby pond and snatched an unsuspecting bright green frog known as phyllomedusa distincta after hearing its tell-tale call.

Garey's interest in frogs began 10 years ago, when he was 19 and studying biology.

Today he is a post-doctorate fellow at Paulista State University in Sao Paulo state. His research is funded by the Boticario foundation, a non-profit body which has already sponsored 800 conservation projects, including research and environmental education programs all over Brazil.

Salto Morato, created in 1994, protects a significant area of Brazil's dwindling Atlantic rainforest. In November 1999, the reserve was declared a natural heritage site by UNESCO.

.


Related Links
Forestry News - Global and Local News, Science and Application






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





WOOD PILE
Inspiration from Mother Nature leads to improved wood
Washington DC (SPX) Nov 01, 2012
Using the legendary properties of heartwood from the black locust tree as their inspiration, scientists have discovered a way to improve the performance of softwoods widely used in construction. The method, reported in the journal ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, involves addition of similar kinds of flavonoid compounds that boost the health of humans. Ingo Burgert and colleague ... read more


WOOD PILE
In 'forgotten' New York borough, storm anger boils

Post-Sandy, New York commuters resort to ferries

New Yorkers get by with help from friends

New Jersey town rediscovers old ways post-Sandy

WOOD PILE
Android smartphone shipments boom: industry tracker

Samsung sells 3 mn Galaxy Note II smartphones since debut

Apple iPad mini makes low key debut

Spaceflight Completes Secondary Payload System Preliminary Design Review With Hardware Fabrication Underway

WOOD PILE
Why Seas Are Rising Ahead of Predictions

Mekong hydropower project gets a boost

Ocean Salinity Trends Show Human Fingerprint

Asia's fishermen caught in escalating sea tensions

WOOD PILE
Antarctic ocean sanctuary talks end in failure

Two Perfect Days for IceBridge

Polar bears seen taking refuge on icebergs

Biologists record increasing amounts of plastic litter in the Arctic deep sea

WOOD PILE
Could chloroplast breakthrough unlock key to controlling fruit ripening in crops?

Study details essential role of trust in agricultural biotech partnerships

FAO: Africa land grabs like 'Wild West'

NASA Maps How Nutrients Affect Plant Productivity

WOOD PILE
Evacuees return home after Indian cyclone

Sandy's wrath lingers in battered US northeast

For New York rats, a question of sink or swim

Tabletop fault model reveals why some quakes result in faster shaking

WOOD PILE
Nigeria military kills about 40 in northeast: residents

Lesotho fears cash shortfall as food crisis deepens

Senegal foreign, interior ministers lose jobs in reshuffle

G.Bissau's alleged coup mastermind to face military court

WOOD PILE
Bigger human genome pool uncovers more rare variants

Village in Bulgaria said Europe's oldest

Genetics suggest global human expansion

'Digital eternity' beckons as death goes high-tech




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement