New Species: Thorny Tree Frog (Gracizalus Lumarius) [Image]

Photo by Jodi Rowley: Thorny Tree Frog lays it's eggs in tree cavities

Photo by Jodi Rowley: Thorny Tree Frog lays it’s eggs in tree cavities

Vietnam is home to the most diverse group of amphibians. Just a year a go researchers discovered a new flying frog with flappy forearms.

Recently, high in the mountains, Jodi Rowley and colleagues found a new species of pink-and-yellow frog that is covered with sharp little spikes. According to a new study published in the journal Zootaxa , the Thorny Tree Frogs (Gracizalus Lumarius) are known from montane bamboo and montane evergreen forest in Ngoc Linh Nature Reserve in Kon Tum Province.

National Geographic’s Committee on Research and Exploration has funded Rowley for research. The frogs most obvious feature is a layer of spikes in which Rowley says “they feel just like sandpaper”. They are made of the same protein that makes up human fingernails, “keratin”.

Rowley hopes to ensure the survival of this new discovery; however challenges are ahead. Southeast Asia has the highest deforestation rate on the planet. This little frogs habit is limited to the mountainous areas making it even more vulnerable to loss of habitat and climate change.

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