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Amphibian debuts

Hunt for lost frog turns up new species in Colombian rain forests

12:57pm, November 19, 2010

Finally some good news on the frog and toad front: Scientists on an amphibian expedition in Colombia’s cloud and rain forests discovered three new species, including a tiny beaked toad. The diminutive toad, a mere 2 centimeters or smaller in length, is a member of the genus Rhinella, making it a close relative of the giant cane toad (which can grow to a whopping 28 cm). The dull coloration of the newly identified beaked toad probably camouflages it on the forest floor, where it also lays its eggs. Oddly, the beaked toad seems to skip the tadpole stage, hatching directly into toadlets, report scientists from Conservation International, the IUCN Amphibian Specialist Group, Global Wildlife Conservation, and Fundación ProAves.

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