Posted on 04 June 2012 by RE Team
A frog species can be as small as few millimeter, while the largest species grows more than a feet. There is an interesting world of this amphibian.
Few years back in the jungles of Borneo, Dr Indraneil Das and colleague Alexander Haas discovered a new tiny species. It is a frog measuring only 3 mm in length. The full grown adults of the species are of the size 9mm to 12mm. This species named as “Microhyla nepenthicola” was found in Kubah National Park, Malayasia. This is one of the smallest known frog species in the world. But what is the smallest known Frog?
Goliath Frog in it's natural habitat @ courtesy Arkive.com
There is fierce competition for the smallest Frog award. Till 1996, Brazilian Gold frog (Psyllophryne Didactyla) was unanimously accepted by scientists as the smallest known Frog. This species grows 9.8 mm. But in 1996, a new frog species discovered in Monte Iberia, Cuba claims equally small size. This species is names as Eleutherodactylus iberia.
On the contrary, the largest living frog is out of any competition. It is known as Goliath frog (Conraua goliath) and found in central western African country Cameroon. This frog can grow up to 33 cm (more than a foot) without counting the legs. It can weigh around 3.3 kg (7 lb). Though very huge in size, this frog is very calm in nature and has a life span of 15 years. Though the Goliath frog is the largest “living” frog, the largest ever ”known” frog is called “Devil Frog” and lived in Madagascar 65-70 million years ago. From the fossils found it is apparent that it could grow till 40 cm in length and weigh up to 4.5 kg (11 lb). It was powerfully built, and had a very wide mouth and strong jaws.
There are hundreds new species of frogs discovered in recent. The above records may change any time. But, unfortunately the frogs along with all amphibiansa are facing serious extinction threat. It is estimated that more than 100 species have been declared extinct from the planet in last three decades. Thousands of them are on the verse of extinction. This mass extinction of amphibians is due human cause pollution, deforestation and also due to fungal a skin disease.
Scientists and researchers are taking serious steps to save them from this extinction event!
Posted on 04 June 2012 by RE Team
The most known household amphibian may very soon disappear from earth. Sounds unbelievable, but it is likely to occur soon if we don’t take some immediate action. This amphibian extinction crisis is supposed to be the worst species conservation challenge in the history of humanity. The extinction is not about only one or two species, but about a complete class of animals, thousands of species! It can be compared to extinction of dinosaurs only.
Infected Frog – courtesy brian.gratwicke @flickr
The main threat of this crisis is not any of the general threats like shrinking of habitat, global warming, pollution, killing of the species, etc. , but a parasitic chytrid fungus –Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. It is believed that the fungus started spreading around the world many decades ago, but unfortunately it was discovered only in ’90s. In last 30 years or so, the fungus has swept away more than 150 species of amphibians, mostly frogs. Another 2000 species are already on the verse of extinction due to the same infection. It is said to be the worst infectious disease ever recorded among vertebrates in terms of the number of species impacted, and it’s propensity to drive them to extinction. The fungus infects cells of the outer skin layers of the amphibians that contain large amounts of a protein called “keratin”. The fungus feeds on this Kertain. Researchers aren’t yet sure of exactly how the fungus kills the frogs.
The most shocking thing in this process is that Human race will have to bear another blame on their shoulders for the mass extinction. Its only humans who spread the fungus across all continents. Scientists believe that this fungus came from African clawed frogs that are actually immune to this fungus infection, one of the few amphibians resistant to the Chytric fungus. These frogs have spread far beyond their native habitat, carrying the fungus with them, due to global trade. Scientists around the world have used these frogs for research and, from the 1930s to the 50s, to conduct pregnancy tests.
There are many efforts amongst the researchers to save the amphibians from mass extinction. The most powerful among them is Amphibian Ark project powered by the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), theIUCN/SSC Conservation Breeding Specialist Group (CBSG), and the IUCN/SSC Amphibian Specialist Group (ASG).