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New Species: Multi-Colored, Spiked Frog Discovered in Central Vietnam

Even as pollution and environmental degradation are becoming increasingly severe in Vietnam, there are still huge pockets of the country that offer unique biodiversity with new species being discovered from time to time. One such discovery in Vietnam's central highlands was recently announced by a team of Australian biologists.

The pink-and-yellow, spike-covered frog can only be found on Mount Ngoc Linh and surrounding mountain tops that reach at least 1,800 meters, reports National Geographic.

The species was uncovered by Jodi Rowley, an expert on Southeast Asian amphibians and a biologist at the Australian Museum Research Institute in Sydney. Rowley’s team regularly explores Vietnam’s mountains which boast the world’s most diverse group of amphibians.

While these high mountain tops don’t seem like a logical place to find frogs as they lack the standing water which they need to live, the amphibians have taken up residence in small tree hollows which are filled with water.

Beyond their bright color scheme, the frog’s most unique feature is their sandpaper-like keratin (the same protein that makes up your finger nails) spikes which researchers postulate help females identify males during the mating season.

Rowley wrote on her blog that the survival of this species is under threat from climate change and deforestation.

“Now that we know the species exists,” she said, “we hope to ensure its continued survival.”


[National Geographic]

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