Oct 072017
 
Now We Know Why Poison Frogs Don't Poison Themselves

Deep in the forests of South America live poison dart frogs that carry around a toxin 200 times more potent than morphine. While it packs a fatal punch for predators, the poison doesn’t much affect the frogs. How? Their nervous systems have changed over time to fight off the powerful chemicals—an extraordinary example of evolution […]

Oct 022017
 
For Species At Risk of Extinction, Size Matters

Scientists have been warning about a sixth mass extinction, and when it comes to species at risk of disappearing, size is going to matter a lot, according to a new study. For the study, which was just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, an international team of scientists from the U.S., […]

Sep 192017
 
Mashatu grazers and browsers

This is a fourth post from our recent trip to Mashatu Nature Reserve in south-eastern Botswana in mid-August 2017. In winter in Mashatu the grass dries and thins out. This forces grazers to become browsers but nature is bountiful. As one source of food disappears another more localised source appears. An adult Kudu bull with […]

Jul 222015
 
Summer Soundtrack

One of my favorite things about summer is the free outdoor concerts. I’m not talking about local bands that occasionally perform from the park gazebo even though they can be a pleasant accompaniment to my evening dog walk. No, nothing says summer like the insect-amphibian jam sessions that take place almost every evening. I’ve moved […]

May 012015
 
New Species of See-Through Frog Found, Looks Like Kermit

Calling all Muppets fans: A new species of see-through glass frog found in Costa Rica looks just like Kermit. The lime-green amphibian, which took the Internet by storm this week, has bulging white eyes with perfect black pupils, much like Jim Henson’s musical puppet. But this frog can’t carry a tune. In fact, it has […]

Apr 262015
 
Aphrodisiac for fish and frogs discovered

A supplement simply added to water has been shown to boost reproduction in nematodes (roundworms), molluscs, fish and frogs – and researchers believe it could work for humans too. Dr Keith Davies, senior lecturer at the University of Hertfordshire and his colleague Dr John Hart, CEO of Endocrine Pharmaceuticals Ltd, observed guppy fish (Poecilia reticulata) […]

Apr 242015
 
Recently discovered 'punkrocker' frog changes skin texture in minutes

In 2006, a husband-and-wife team – Katherine and Tim Krynak – discovered a tiny new frog species, smaller than a U.S. quarter, in the Reserva Las Gralarias, a nature reserve in north-central Ecuador. They took its photograph and nicknamed it the “punkrocker” frog because of spine-like projections coming out of its skin. For the next […]

Feb 262015
 
Four arrested for allegedly attempting to export 150 native animals to Europe

Four men are in custody in Perth accused of attempting to export more than 150 native animals from Western Australia. The men were arrested at Perth international airport earlier this month after customs was tipped off by postal workers who noticed something amiss in packages sent from destinations including Carnarvon, Tom Price and Geraldton. All […]

Sep 212014
 
Nighttime Lights Reset Birds' Internal Clocks, Threatening Dawn's Chorus

 High on bluffs overlooking the Pacific, Dominik Mosur was strolling along at 2 a.m. searching for owls. Darkness enveloped the Presidio, a historic military encampment turned national park, as Mosur made his way through cypress-scented fog. Alert in the mist as he cut through a forest, Mosur listened for the hoot of the great horned […]

Sep 012014
 
Selective logging hurts rainforest frogs

Selective logging in India’s Western Ghats forests continues to affect frogs decades after harvesting ended, finds a new study published in Biotropica. The research, conducted by K. S. Seshadri of Pondicherry University and the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment, assessed frog communities in logged and unlogged forests in Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger […]

Aug 302014
 
New skeleton frog from Madagascar is already critically endangered

Sometimes all it takes is fewer clicks. Scientists have discovered a new species of frog from Madagascar that stuck out in part because it “clicked” less during calls than similar species. Unfortunately the scientists believe the new species—dubbed the Ankarafa skeleton frog (Boophis ankarafensis)—is regulated to a single patch of forest, which, despite protected status, […]

Aug 172014
 
Yellow spots, orange stripes: vivid new frog species discovered in Malaysia

Scientists have identified a new species of frog on the Malay Peninsula. The newly named Hylarana centropeninsularis was discovered in a peat swamp and genetic analyses revealed that it is evolutionarily distinct from its stream-dwelling cousins. After publishing the discovery in the online journal Herpetologica, Kin Onn Chan, a doctoral candidate at the University of […]

Jul 182014
 
Scientists make breakthrough in fight against deadly amphibian fungus

Scientists have made a key discovery that may help to stem the loss of countless species of amphibians to a deadly fungus. Frogs and other amphibians have been among the worst hit of all species in recent years in terms of the numbers facing drastic declines or extinction: more than one-third of the more than […]