A new species of frog with a tapir-like nose discovered in the Amazon

A new species of frog with a tapir-like nose discovered in the Amazon

A strange new species of frog has been discovered in the Amazon rainforest with a ‘tapir-like’ nose for burrowing underground thanks to its ‘squeaking’ sounds.

The new species, discovered in the lower Putumayo Basin in Loreto, Peru, has a long, downward-curving snout like that of a tapir, an Amazonian herbivore.

Named Synapturanus danta, it has dark brownish red skin, a “round body” and measures only 0.7 inches (1.79 cm).

It also has a creamy yellow chest and belly with “brown flecks on the sides,” the researchers report.

Its body shape and overall appearance, ideal for burrowing, suggests that it is adapted to the soft soil of the Amazonian peatlands.

Researchers were only able to find it by tracking its signature calls in peat bogs and digging on all fours.

A new species of frog with a tapir-like nose (pictured) has been discovered in the Amazon rainforest thanks to its call.

A new species of frog with a tapir-like nose (pictured) has been discovered in the Amazon rainforest thanks to its call.

The South American tapir (Tapirus terrestris), also known as the Brazilian tapir or the Amazonian tapir, has a distinctive snout.

The South American tapir (Tapirus terrestris), also known as the Brazilian tapir or the Amazonian tapir, has a distinctive snout.

A new species, Synapturanus danta, has been discovered in the lower Putumayo Basin in Loreto, Peru.

A new species, Synapturanus danta, has been discovered in the lower Putumayo Basin in Loreto, Peru.

MEET NEW FROG SPECIES

Species name: Synapturanus danta

Length: 0.7 inch (1.79 cm)

Range: Amazon rainforest

Habitat: underground peatlands

Distinctive features: curved nose, brownish-red ski, “beeping” call.

“These frogs are really hard to find, and that’s what’s causing them to be under-researched,” said Michelle Thompson, a researcher at the Keller Science Action Center at Chicago’s Field Museum and one of the authors of the study describing the frog.

“This is an example of the hidden diversity of the Amazon and it is important to document it in order to understand how important ecosystem functions are.

“It looks like a caricature of a tapir because it has a large, round body with a tiny, pointed head.”

Residents of the Comunidad Nativa Tres Esquinas community in Peru have actually known about the tiny burrowing frog for a long time.

One local name for it is danta’s wound, which translates to “tapir frog” because of its resemblance to a large-nosed mammal, but until now it has remained elusive to biologists.

With the help of local guides, an international team of researchers was able to find the frog and give it an official scientific name and description in their new paper.

“Frogs of this genus are common throughout the Amazon, but because they live underground and cannot dig very far, the distribution ranges of each species are quite small,” said first author Hermán Chavez of the Peruvian Institute of Herpetology in Peru.

Named Synapturanus danta, this species has dark brownish-red skin, a

Named Synapturanus danta, this species has dark brownish-red skin, a “bubbly body” and measures only 0.7 inches (1.79 cm).

It also has a creamy yellow chest and belly with

It also has a creamy yellow chest and belly with “brown flecks on the sides,” the researchers report.

SCIENTISTS FIND THE REAL FREDDO – A NEW KIND OF “CHOCOLATE FROG”

In 2021, Australian scientists said they had discovered a real-life counterpart of Cadbury’s Freddo Frog Chocolate Bars.

Intrepid explorers have discovered a very rare chocolate-colored version of the Australian green tree frog in the dense jungles of New Guinea.

And with its milky brown skin, it’s the exact replica of a chocolate snack.

See also: Scientists have discovered the real Freddo from Cadbury

“Because we found this new species in the Amazon peatlands, it would not be strange if it was restricted to this environment.

“Its body shape and general appearance seem to be adapted to the soft soil of peatlands rather than the robust and broad form of species in other environments.”

S. danta was discovered during a rapid inventory led by the scientists of the Field Museum, a research program in which scientists spend several weeks at the Amazon site.

Local guides who were familiar with the frogs took the explorers to the peatlands, wetlands covered in nutrient-rich turf made from decaying plants.

“The frogs are tiny, about the size of a quarter, they are brown, live underground and are very fast,” Thompson said.

“You know these little frogs are underground somewhere, but you just don’t see them jumping.”

“We just kept hearing this ‘beep-beep-beep’ from underground and suspected it might be a new species of burrowing frog because other species of the genus had recently been described.”

The team searched at night when the frogs were most active.

“We had already caught juveniles on our first night on the moors, but at 2-3 am we were tired,” Chavez said.

“So we chose our last night in this place, after three hard nights looking for frogs and snakes, to go to the moors solely to find those frogs we heard the first night.

As soon as they heard the call, they created an imaginary one meter by one meter square and dug into this square with their hands to find them.

“We heard them beep-beep underground, and we would stop, turn off the lights, dig around, and then listen again,” Thompson said.

An aerial and ground view of the

An aerial and ground view of the “type locality” (where Synapturanus danta was found) in Peru.

“After a few hours, one of them jumped out of his hole, and we shouted: “Someone, grab him!”

In addition to finally finding adult frogs, the team recorded their calls and ran DNA analysis on the frogs to confirm the existence of the new species.

Synapturanus is the name of an already existing genus to which this species belongs, and danta is Spanish for tapir.

It is believed that the frogs’ burrowing, which makes them difficult to find, probably makes them an important part of their home in the peatlands.

“They are part of the underground ecosystem,” Thompson said. “They move there, they eat there, they lay their eggs there.

“They promote nutrient cycling and change soil structure.”

Audio spectrograms and oscillograms of the advertising call of Synapturanus danta recorded at night in the Lower Putumayo River basin.  A. Single call;  B. Series of two calls

Audio spectrograms and oscillograms of the advertising call of Synapturanus danta recorded at night in the Lower Putumayo River basin. A. Single call; B. Series of two calls

In the future, the team wants to confirm whether S. danta is restricted to peatland habitats.

“I think the possibility that this frog could be a wetland specialist is high, but more research is still needed to confirm this,” Chavez said.

The Putumayo Basin in Peru is part of a larger conservation program by the Keller Science Action Center and its partners.

“The Putumayo Corridor stretches from Ecuador, Colombia, Peru to Brazil and runs along the Putumayo River,” Thompson said.

“There’s very little deforestation here, and it’s also one of the last free-flowing rivers that doesn’t have active dams.

“This is like a huge opportunity to save the entire corridor, watershed and surrounding areas.

“This tapir frog is further evidence why scientists and locals must work together to protect this region.”

The study is published in the journal Evolutionary Systematics.

SMALL BUT DEADLY! A SMALL SPECIES OF THE POISONOUS PUMPKIN Frog DISCOVERED IN BRAZIL

It may look cute and glow with a cool fluorescent orange light, but a recently discovered species of frog in Brazil is highly venomous, as scientists showed in 2021.

The frog, called Brachycephalus rotenbergae, is just under an inch long, but has enough venom radiating from glands in its skin to make a human sick.

It also has bony plates on its skull and back that glow green through the skin under ultraviolet (UV) light, but researchers aren’t sure why.

Pictured is a newly identified species of Brachycephalus rotenbergae - note its open-mouth defensive behavior.

Pictured is a newly identified species of Brachycephalus rotenbergae – note its open-mouth defensive behavior.

B. rotenbergae was found south of the Mantiqueira mountain range in the state of São Paulo, Brazil, in a forest along the Atlantic coast of Brazil.

Other frogs in the genus Brachycephalus carry an extremely dangerous venom called tetrodotoxin in their skin, and probably B. rotenbergae too, although the team “does not yet have information on the toxins.”

Read more: Experts have discovered a new tiny species of pumpkin toad

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