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7 New Miniature Poison Frogs Discovered in Brazil’s Cloud Forests

June 2, 2015



The mountainous forests of Brazil have kicked out seven new frog species that are so small they can foot on the tip of your thumb. The frogs are no longer than  1cm in length and can be found on just two mountaintops in the country, according to researchers Marcio Pie of the Universidade Federal do Paraná and Luiz Ribeiro, a research associate at Mater Natura Institute for Environmental Studies. 


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Brachycephalus frog

Luiz Ribeiro

This Brachycephalus frogs can fit on a human thumbnail.

According to 3 News New Zealand, the frogs, of the genus Brachycephalus, are all brightly colored in an attempt to warn predators of the neurotoxins on their skin, and they lack a full set of fingers and toes, probably due to their miniature size. 

"This is only the beginning, especially given the fact that we have already found additional species that we are in the process of formally describing," says Ribeiro.

Brachycephalus

Luiz Ribeiro

Brachycephalus frogs lack a full set fingers and toes.

Ribeiro and Pie are concerned for the survival of these frogs give they are only found in the cloud forests of Brazil, which are sensitive to climate change. They say that their habitat should be protected and a breeding program be started in an effort to ensure that the amphibians survive. 

The study can be viewed on the open access journal PeerJ.


John B. Virata keeps a western hognose snake, a ball python, two corn snakes, a king snake, and two leopard geckos. His first snake, a California kingsnake, was purchased at the Pet Place in Westminster, CA for $5. His first pet reptile was a green anole that arrived in a small box via mail order. Follow him on Twitter @johnvirata 

 

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