New Species Alert! You Won’t Believe How Cute (And Tiny!) These Guys Are!
Scientists have discovered seven new species of frogs in the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest, and they are all so cute! The scientists spent hours carefully digging through leaf piles in order to find these little guys. Their hard work payed off though, as they added seven new species to the Brachycephalus group of frog!
All of the newly discovered frogs come in a wide range of bright colors, which is likely used to warn predators about their poisonous nature. The more colorful and vibrant the frogs are, the more of the deadly chemical tetrodotoxin they are probably carrying in their skin. Yikes!
The frogs are less than one centimeter long (that’s smaller than your fingernail!), have vibrant skin, and are completely adorable! Although the frogs are all similar in size, their differences are apparent in their unique skin color and texture. Some of the frogs have smooth skin, some have bumpy skin, and some are even covered in warts.
These colorful frogs live on mountaintop habitats called cloud forests, which basically function like isolated islands, each with their own unique climate. The frogs are especially sensitive to any change to the climate, so they remain isolated on their own mountaintops and interbreed with one another until they evolve into a separate species from the frogs just a mountaintop over. This isolation and breeding has produced 21 known species of the Brachycephalus frog, and this recent discovery bumps that count up to 28. How cool!
Although it is home to many incredible known (and unknown!) species, the Brazilian Atlantic Forest is one of the most threatened ecosystems in the world. It contains the highest levels of biological diversity in Brazil, and it needs our help.