Monday, November 22, 2010

More New Amphibians Found

Nosing around for "lost" amphibian species in western Colombia in September, scientists stumbled across three entirely new species as well as this beaked toad. "Its long, pointy, snoutlike nose reminds me of the nefarious villain Mr. Burns from The Simpsons television series," expedition leader Robin Moore said in a statement released Tuesday.

The unnamed, 0.7-inch-long (2-centimeter-long) toad is "easily one of the strangest amphibians I have ever seen," added Moore, an amphibian-conservation expert for Conservation International.

The toad also has an odd reproductive habit: skipping the tadpole stage. Females lay eggs on the rain forest floor that produce into fully formed toadlets.

Rocket Frog

A new species of rocket frog (pictured), found in September, is less toxic and more drably colored than other poison dart frog species, conservationists said this week
Living in and around streams, the 1.2-inch-long (3-centimeter-long) frogs carefully carry newly hatched tadpoles on their backs awaiting they reach water, where the tadpoles total their development.

Red-Eyed Mystery Toad

Found in steep Colombian cloud forests in September, this new species of toad has puzzled scientists. The toad's genus is still secrecy as is the reason for its ruby-colored eyes.
"I have never seen a toad with such vibrant red eyes," Conservation International's Moore said in a statement released this week.
"This trait is highly unusual for amphibians, and its discovery offers us a terrific opportunity to learn more about how and why it adapted this way."

New Frog Gathers No Moss

All three newfound species (pictured, the red-eyed toad in September) were active during the daytime, an unusual occurrence in amphibians, according to Conservation International.
Their daytime habits likely helped the scientists spot the new animals during the weeklong expedition.
"Finding three new species in such a short space of time," Conservation International's Moore said, "speaks to the incredibly rich biodiversity of these relatively unexplored forests and highlights their importance for conservation."