Tree Frog Long Thought Extinct Rediscovered In India

Posted: Jan 21 2016, 4:56am CST | by , Updated: Jan 21 2016, 5:29am CST, in News | Latest Science News

Tree Frog Rediscovered in India
S D Biju / PLoS One
  • Extinct Tree Frog Found Again in India After 137 Years

A tree frog that was believed to have disappeared from the face of the earth was found in India recently. It has been 137 years since its species vanished leaving no trace behind them.

The tree frog that was discovered had been thought to have been extinct. But as the saying goes the proof of the pudding lies in the eating. Seeing is believing and the rare tree frog was found by an Indian biologist named Sathyabhama Das Biju.

He along with a group of scientists searched the northeastern jungles of India and found the supposedly extinct frog. These frogs may actually be found in regions as disparate as China and Thailand.

Tree frog is a new genus. This much is for sure. This frog is about the size of a golf ball and resides in tree holes six meters above ground level. This is the reason it has escaped detection for so long.

Some experts have pointed out the fact that there were not many scientists working in the remote regions where the tree frog existed in the first place.

The frog is a peculiar species. Not only does the female leave her eggs in a pool of water in the tree hole, she returns to feed the tadpoles the extra eggs that have not been fertilized.

The adult frogs mostly eat greenery instead of insects or insect larvae. This frog was actually found by sheer accident in 2007. That was during a search for other animals. Mr Biju is also known as The Frog Man in his native land of India.

He has so far been responsible for the discovery of 89 of the 350 frog species in his country. In his own words, the process of discovery has “a full musical orchestra coming from the tree tops.”

Furthermore, Mr Biju said that it was magical and that they could not resist the urge to explore some more.

Via DNA analysis, Mr Biju and his colleagues have identified the frog as a new genus. This is cause for excitement among biologists and scientists alike. The frog has transformed from Polypedates jerdonii to Frankixalus jerdonii.

Although the frog is not present in small numbers, it is losing its habitat due to human encroachment and the deforestation that is taking place at an alarming rate.

This study got published on January 20, 2016 in the open-access journal PLoS ONE by S. D. Biju from the University of Delhi and colleagues.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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