amphibians

18 Stories

Scientists Await Rare 'Dragon' Birth in Slovenia

3 olm eggs show promise in Postojna Cave

(Newser) - When humans in the 15th century encountered olms—rare amphibians that have been roaming Earth's caves for 200 million years—they thought they were baby dragons. Today we know little more about the blind creatures than our ancestors did. Olms inhabit the cave rivers of the Balkans, grow up... More »

Zoo Says It's Got Earth's Longest Salamander

Oh, you know, just a normal 5-foot-2 amphibian

(Newser) - Prague Zoo says it likely has the longest Chinese giant salamander now on Earth. The critically endangered animal is the largest amphibian on the planet. In a statement Sunday, the zoo says Karlo, a Chinese giant salamander it received 19 months ago from the State Museum of Natural History in... More »

Our Salamanders May Be in Trouble

Scientists cite Asian fungus, lack of biosecurity

(Newser) - When a fungus that has coexisted with amphibians in Asia for 30 million years recently found its way to the Netherlands, only 10 fire salamanders managed to escape death there. The fungus eats the skin, and that tends to prove fatal because amphibians perform much of their respiration through their... More »

Frogs Disappearing Faster Than Thought

Federal survey shows scary decline in amphibians

(Newser) - Scientists have been worried about the decline in amphibians for years now, and the most comprehensive federal survey of its kind has some bad news: Things are worse than they thought. Researchers from the US Geological Survey found that frogs, salamanders, and amphibians of all kinds are disappearing at an... More »

Scientists Find New Species of Amphibians

Limbless creatures look like earthworms

(Newser) - Scientists have unearthed a brand-new, weird-looking species of amphibians in northeastern India. The creatures, named chikilidae, live deep in the dirt and are limbless, reports Nature , which notes that they look more like worms than, say, frogs or salamanders. “The discovery adds a major branch to the amphibian tree... More »

World's Smallest Frog Found

Tiny amphibian discovered in Papua New Guinea

(Newser) - A species of frog so tiny that several of them could fit on a fingernail with room to spare has been found hopping around the forests of Papua New Guinea. At 0.27 inches long, Paedophryne amauensis is the smallest frog ever discovered and, by some measures, is the world'... More »

Pea-Size Frog Found in Borneo

Tiny amphibian lives in carnivorous plants

(Newser) - The smallest frog ever discovered outside the Americas has been found dwelling inside a carnivorous plant in the jungles of Borneo. The tiny amphibians, just under half an inch long, were discovered by chance by researchers making their way up a mountain road. They tracked the pea-size frog by following... More »

Scientists Discover Screaming Tadpole

Sound saves frog larvae from being cannibalized

(Newser) - Scientists studying the calls of adult Argentine horned frogs were amazed to discover that the species' larvae also make sounds—screams even, reports the Independent . The tadpole's scream is a "brief, clear and very audible metallic-like sound," say researchers. They believe the distress calls save the tadpoles from... More »

Amphibious Caterpillars Can Live Underwater for Weeks

Creature may breathe through bodily pores

(Newser) - Researchers in Hawaii have discovered several species of caterpillars that live underwater for weeks at at time. What's more remarkable is that insects don't have gills—or hold their breath. Other amphibious creatures that survive under water store oxygen in their lungs. These guys don't. "I couldn't believe it,... More »

Aussies Find 'Extinct' Bell Frog

Amphibian was thought to be wiped out in 1970s by fungus

(Newser) - The yellow-spotted bell frog was thought to be wiped out in the 1970s when a deadly fungus invaded its native Australian habitat—until now. That’s right—the “extinct” species has been discovered in the Southern Tablelands of New South Wales, alive and well. “It was quite amazing,... More »

Salamanders Get Help Crossing the Road

To mate! With some help from human friends

(Newser) - Salamanders are getting an assist this mating season from volunteers who shepherd them across dangerous highways, the AP reports. Hundreds try to cross between forests and vernal pools this time of year, and human escorts—also known as bucket brigades—have popped up along the East Coast to keep them... More »

Frog Pizza Storms London

'The Hopper' has UK animal activists croaking mad

(Newser) - London restaurant chain Eco has animal-rights activists hopping mad over its newest pizza, the Sun reports. Called “The Hopper,” the pie contains 8 frogs legs with capers and anchovies. British group Animal Aid is urging a boycott of Eco because harvesters of frogs’ legs usually cut them off... More »

Half of Europe's Frog Species May Croak

Habitat loss, climate change, disease likely to wipe out amphibian species

(Newser) - Half of all of Europe's amphibian species could be doomed to extinction within the next few decades, scientists warn. Habitat loss and climate change are already wiping out huge numbers of frogs, toads, newts and salamanders, the Independent reports. The situation has been exacerbated by a skin disease that has... More »

Roots of Speech Found in Humming Fish

All vocalizing creatures share common brain circuit, researchers find

(Newser) - The songs of birds, the hums and grunts of toadfish, and the lofty speech of humans all use the same ancient brain circuit, despite an evolutionary split 400 million years ago, reports National Geographic. Researchers have discovered that the base of the hindbrain and upper spinal cord is the starting... More »

Even Toughest Toads Are Being Unmanned

Clues to sex-change mystery could explain amphibian decline

(Newser) - The mystery of the hermaphrodite toads may be solved: Researchers have found that various chemicals used in farming are linked to sex changes in certain amphibian species, the Independent reports. In a population of cane toads, 40% of males had developed feminine coloring and ovaries, and an additional 20% had... More »

Endangered Frogs Find Their Noah

Amphibian Ark project aims to save 500 imperiled species

(Newser) - Half of all frog species are in danger of extinction, and conservationists are taking a page from the Bible in working to preserve them. A program called Amphibian Ark has named 2008 the Year of the Frog, and is working with zoos to harbor endangered species, including some that have... More »

'Mythical' Giant Turtle Found in Vietnam

Animal, thought to be extinct, is the stuff of legend

(Newser) - A giant turtle thought to be extinct has been found in northern Vietnam, the AP reports. Scientists from the Cleveland Zoo discovered the Swinhoe's soft-shelled turtle when they followed up reports from villagers of a mythical creature living in a lake. Vietnamese legend tells of a huge turtle that helped... More »

Scientists Make It Easier Being Green

In breakthrough, antibiotic stops fungus that's killing amphibians

(Newser) - Scientists have stumbled on a cure for the deadly fungus that is decimating the world's amphibian population. New Zealand researchers say an antibiotic used as an eye ointment for humans kills the fungus, which is blamed for the extinction of 40 species since 1980. Researchers dunked frogs in a solution... More »

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