Friday, August 27, 2010

Look, There in the Plant! It's Micro-Frog!

"Micro Frog Discovered Inside Bornean Pitcher Plants"
Wired Science (August 25, 2010)

"Scientists have discovered the Old World's smallest species of frog living inside pitcher plants in the jungles of Southeast Asia's Borneo.

"The micro frogs, named Microhyla nepenthicola, grow to only 0.4 to 0.5 inches long — about the size of a pea. It was discovered living along the edge of a road in Kubah National Park in Borneo by a team of scientists searching for the world's lost amphibians, species considered to be extinct that may still have remnant populations.

'I saw some specimens in museum collections that are over 100 years old,' biologist Indraneil Das, one of frog discovers, said in a press release. 'Scientists presumably thought they were juveniles of other species, but it turns out they are adults of this newly-discovered micro species.'..."

These tiny little tree frogs are really, really cute: a property they share with most of the endangered animals we read about.

It's quite possible that they're really endangered: or maybe just too small to show up when researchers take a stroll through the forest. On the other hand, this could be another case like the spotted owl, which can only nest in virgin forests - and K-Mart signs.

Whatever, the critters are very cute: and yes, the one on the pencil apparently is full-grown. For that sort of frog, anyway.

Did I mention that they're cute?

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