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Shape-shifting frog mimics its surroundings


Posted on Wednesday, 25 March, 2015 | Comment icon 11 comments

The frog can change its skin texture within minutes. Image Credit: Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society
Found in the Ecuadorian Andes, the unique species is able to perfectly blend in with almost anything.
Chameleons are well known for being able to change their skin coloration as a way to camouflage themselves, but now a frog discovered in Ecuador may be able to give even these masters of disguise a run for their money thanks to its unique ability to change the actual texture of its skin to match the terrain it is sitting on.

Found within the Reserva Las Gralarias, a nature reserve situated in the western Andean cloud forest, the new amphibian is thought to be the first species ever to exhibit this shape-shifting ability.
Researcher Katherine Krynak, who discovered the frog while on an expedition with her husband, described how they had originally believed that they had picked up the wrong creature when it seemed to change from spiky to smooth-skinned when placed on a sheet of plastic.

"I then put the frog back in the cup and added some moss," she said. "The spines came back... we simply couldn't believe our eyes, our frog changed skin texture !"

It is thought that this ability may help the frogs to protect themselves against predators.

"The spines and coloration help them blend into mossy habitats, making it hard for us to see them," said Krynak. "But whether the texture really helps them elude predators still needs to be tested."

Source: Eurekalert.org | Comments (11)


Tags: Frog, Andes


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #2 Posted by DieChecker on 24 March, 2015, 20:51
That is pretty amazing.
Comment icon #3 Posted by She-ra on 24 March, 2015, 20:54
I remember watching an octopus, we had lifted out of the water on a rock, change skin color and texture rapidly. So bizarre. Because we had stressed the poor thing out, I'm sure. We "caught" an octopus once by mistake and we were trying to get him out of the boat and back into the water and we got to see exactly how they "ink" and how far it can actually go! Was quite the experience I will never forget So yes, I understand what you are saying. Amazing creatures!
Comment icon #4 Posted by DefenceMinisterMishkin on 24 March, 2015, 20:54
SuperFrog!
Comment icon #5 Posted by QuiteContrary on 24 March, 2015, 22:35
We "caught" an octopus once by mistake and we were trying to get him out of the boat and back into the water and we got to see exactly how they "ink" and how far it can actually go! Was quite the experience I will never forget So yes, I understand what you are saying. Amazing creatures! we had a "pet" one who died because he inked in his tank and we didn't notice in time and didn't change the water fast enough very sad, no one's fault but ours for owning him in the first place
Comment icon #6 Posted by She-ra on 24 March, 2015, 22:39
we had a "pet" one who died because he inked in his tank and we didn't notice in time and didn't change the water fast enough very sad, no one's fault but ours for owning him in the first place Awe, that's sad. Yes I don't think they are the type to be "owned" or put in confinement like that. Oh well, Live and learn. Poor little thing You didn't know. Oh well...
Comment icon #7 Posted by shrooma on 25 March, 2015, 12:40
it's a defence mechanism, learned just days after the first french tourist landed in south america..... .
Comment icon #8 Posted by ancient astronaut on 25 March, 2015, 17:50
Nature is amazing.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Foil Hat Ninja on 25 March, 2015, 22:32
I hope they named it Mystique.
Comment icon #10 Posted by TheOtherSide1945 on 26 March, 2015, 10:05
Shapeshifting frogs from outer space.
Comment icon #11 Posted by Dr chub17 on 2 April, 2015, 2:08
this is simply amazing, frog are shape shifting now amazing. imagine what the worlds going to be like in a 100 years from now!


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