A post from the 18th of June on Mongabay.com reports on the rediscovery of a long thought extinct toad species in Sri Lanka. This was written by Jeremy Hance from Mongabay.com.
A small toad not seen since 1876, and considered by many to be extinct, has been rediscovered in a stream in Sri Lanka. First recorded in 1872, the Kandyan dwarf toad had (Adenomus kandianus) vanished for over a century before being found by scientists during a survey in 2009 in the Peak Wilderness Sanctuary, according to a new paper in Zootaxa. (more…)
Redmond O’ Hanlon recently made a number of documentaries in which he walked in the footsteps of mostly 19th century adventurers who had the bravery and zest to explore the unexplored, like Prezwalski and Fawcett. In the intro to every episode he explained that friends told him he ‘had been born in the wrong century’ and should have lived in an era when all significant explorations still had to be done. I empathize with his words, because I remember reading when I was young a book about the great explorers of all time, amongst others Orellano, Livingston and Scott, and adoring the romantic vibe that comes with going where no man has ever gone before. Even though, for example in the case of Scott, the ending wasn’t that glorious, it still seemed to me such a thrill to have been there. So i can understand this romantic feeling of wanting to be in some other time and place. I myself would love to know what discoveries will be made in coming centuries and how far from the truth we are now with our current scientific theories, but alas I will never know… And at the same time I also regret not having been able to see dinosaurs, moa’s and other legendary creatures from the past. It’s the same feeling of regret I had when i first heard about the gastric brooding frog and its extinction. The genus of gastric brooding frogs (presumably) disappeared from the wild a couple of years after I was brought into this world and actually the Southern gastric breeding frog, Rheobatrachus silus, disappeared a year before I was born and that’s definitely my loss. I’ll try to make up for it a bit by writing this post. (more…)
At the beginning of this year a paper came out in PLoS One describing the discovery of the world’s smallest vertebrate, a frog that has an average body size of only 7.7 mm, Paedophryne amauensis (Rittmeyer et al. 2012). The same team discovered another diminutive frog, Paedophryne swiftorum, which reaches an average body size of around 8.25-8.90 mm. The news was picked up by several media including the Guardian, that had an interview with one of the authors, Christopher Austin. (more…)
With all the news on dwindling amphibian numbers, to which I will pay more attention soon in my blog, we could use some positive news as well. A nice example was a press release in July last year on the rediscovery of the Borneo rainbow toad (or Sambas stream toad, Ansonia latidisca). The New York times interviewed the leading scientist of the team, Dr. Das (he discovered a tiny frog in 2010 as well). (more…)