Two new frog species `discovered`

Last Updated: Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - 12:54

Melbourne: Scientists claim to have discovered two new species of boulder-dwelling frogs that live deep down among rocks in Australia.
Lead scientist Dr Conrad Hoskin at Australian National University said that the names of Kutini Boulder-frog and the Golden-capped Boulder-frog were derived from the local Kuuku Ya`u language in consultation with the indigenous custodians of the land where they were discovered.

He said the new species were restricted to piles of massive boulders in the rainforest in northeast Queensland and they had adapted to their rocky world. The frogs were found in two different areas on the Cape York Peninsula.

Dr Hoskin said: "The frogs have long arms, long slender fingers and big triangular finger pads, which enable them to climb among the labyrinth of rocks. They only occur in the rocks and never in the surrounding forest and although they are highly localised, they`re abundant where they occur."

Dr Hoskin said that not many species were found in the boulder piles -- just the boulder frogs, a few species of lizards and various insects and spiders.

"The two species eat mostly ants. They lay their eggs on land and the tadpoles develop within the egg and miniature frogs hatch out before they head off into the forest or boulders.

"Most Australian relatives of these frog species are only about two centimetres in length, but these new ones are comparatively huge at five centimetres. The new frogs live deep down among the boulders and only come to the surface when it rains in the summer wet season," he added.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - 12:54

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