Seven New Species of Tiny Frogs Found in Brazilian Cloud Forests
Posted on June 4, 2015
Scientists have discovered seven new species of miniaturized frogs in the mountains of the southern Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest. Each frog species is restricted to cloud forests in one or a few mountaintops. All of the species are less than one centimeter long as adults. The image above shows how very small the frogs are. They are about the size of a human fingernail.
The frogs, which belong to the genus Brachycephalus, are considered highly vulnerable to extinction due their limited and isolated range. They are among the smallest terrestrial vertebrates in the world. Many of the tiny frogs are brightly colored which is a sign they likely have tetrodotoxin in their skin, which is a highly potent neurotoxin.
Marcio Pie, a professor at the Universidade Federal do Paraná, who led the project, says in a statement, "Although getting to many of the field sites is exhausting, there was always the feeling of anticipation and curiosity about what new species could look like."
The frogs pictured above are two of the newly identified species of miniaturized frog. They belong to the species Brachycephalus auroguttatus and Brachycephalus verrucosus. The researchers say more new species of frogs were discovered and are in the process of being named.
A research paper on the new frog species was published here in the journal, Peerj.
Photo: Luiz Fernando Ribeiro, CC BY SA
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