Quantcast
Connect with us

Indonesian frog is one of a kind – and not because of its fangs

Published

on

Its fangs are not what makes the newly identified Indonesian frog species Limnonectes larvaepartus unique on Earth. The way it makes babies does.

This little amphibian from the rain forests of Indonesia’s island of Sulawesi is the only one of the world’s 6,455 frog species to give direct birth to tadpoles, eschewing the common froggy practice of laying eggs, scientists said on Wednesday.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Reproduction in most frogs could not be more different from human reproduction. In this case, what is most interesting, ironically, is that the reproductive mode is more similar to our own,” said herpetologist Jimmy McGuire of the University of California, Berkeley, whose research appears in the scientific journal PLOS ONE.

This frog, usually gray or brown, measures about 1-1/2 inches long (40 mm), weighs less than two-tenths of an ounce (5 grams) and belongs to the Asian group of fanged frogs. Males possess two fang-like projections from the lower jaw that are used in fighting.

The frog lives along small streams and puddles in rainforest habitats, doing its best to avoid being eaten by larger fanged frog species as well as snakes and frog-munching birds.

Its mode of reproduction sets this frog apart.

“The vast, vast majority of frogs have external fertilization. For mating, the male grips the female around the waist and releases sperm as she releases her eggs,” McGuire said.

ADVERTISEMENT

Those eggs mature through stages including the aquatic tadpole larval phase, typically limbless with a tail that propels it through the water.

About a dozen frog species rely on internal fertilization, McGuire said. All but the newly identified one either deposit fertilized eggs or give birth to froglets, essentially miniature versions of an adult that already passed through a modified tadpole stage while still in an egg capsule inside the female.

The female Limnonectes larvaepartus (meaning “marsh swimmer that gives birth to larvae”) instead gives birth to tadpoles.

ADVERTISEMENT

“It’s totally unclear why this mode of reproduction has not evolved more frequently,” McGuire said.

“My favorite topic when it comes to frog evolution and diversification is the bewildering variation in reproductive modes that occur. Frogs exhibit all sorts of interesting twists.”

ADVERTISEMENT

There have been frogs that swallowed their eggs and brooded them in the stomach, a species in which the male broods the eggs in his vocal sac, and many species that carry eggs and tadpoles in pouches on their backs and sides, he said.

(Reporting by Will Dunham; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump administration heavily redacted documents concerning their withholding of Ukraine aid

Published

on

The Trump administration has refused to disclose how key officials at the Department of Defense and the White House Office of Management and Budget reacted to President Trump’s decision to halt military aid to Ukraine.

On Nov. 25, federal district court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ordered the administration to produce records reflecting what these officials said to one another about the legality and appropriateness of Trump’s order. The Center for Public Integrity sought the information in Freedom of Information Act requests filed in late September.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Donald Trump Jr laughs at the prospect that Bill Barr will eventually lock up Trump’s political enemies

Published

on

On Thursday, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted a video of Attorney General William Barr saying that he is constantly asked when Democrats are going to prison for their treatment of President Donald Trump, and he jokingly responded "these things take time."

Trump Jr. repeated that particular line in his tweet, accompanied by a series of laughing face emojis:

These things take time. 🤣🤣🤣 pic.twitter.com/TX7DuYgAsr

— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) December 13, 2019

Continue Reading
 

2020 Election

Jared Kushner is ‘officially overseeing’ Trump’s 2020 campaign ‘from his seat in the West Wing’: NY Times

Published

on

The administration of President Donald Trump has had multiple scandals for using federal government resources to aid his 2020 re-election campaign, but senior White House advisor Jared Kushner is his de facto campaign manager, The New York Times reported Thursday.

"Hours before the House Judiciary Committee was set to take a historic vote to push President Trump to the brink of impeachment, campaign officials gathered across the Potomac River for a state-of-the-race briefing in which they described how the Republican Party had been transformed into the “beer and bluejeans party” crafted in Mr. Trump’s image," the newspaper reported, despite the fact Trump claims he does not drink beer and is not known for wearing anything other than suits and golf attire.

Continue Reading