Khorat ... Limnonectes megastomias - A frog who's smile hides it best weapon ... fangs! Image Credit: siamensis.org
All Frogs Smile - Some Have Fangs
Ever notice that all frogs just seem to sit there, perched their springy hind legs ... and smile? Well it turns out that some hide more than their thoughts with a perpetual smile, some hide FANGS!
Just weeks after discovering a frog with fangs in Papua New Guinea, the World Wildlife Federation (WWF) is reporting another 163 new species in southeast Asia, including another frog with fangs. This new frog, discovered in Thailand, apparently feeds on birds.
The fanged frog is the highlight of the WWF report. It's been classified as Limnonectes megastomias, and it's Modus Operandi is to wait in Thailand's many streams and attack when a bird comes near. The scientists also discovered that the males of the species use these fangs in combat, sometimes scarring or even dismembering their opponents here on this wild and wonderful Oblate Spheroid.
Thailand interior landscape that would be typical of where the Khorat "fanged" frog might make its home. Image Credit: siamensis.org
This excerpted and edited from FOX News -
Fanged Frog Found in Bangkok
FOX News / AP - Friday, September 25, 2009
A gecko with leopard-like spots on its body and a fanged frog that eats birds are among 163 new species discovered last year in the Mekong River region of Southeast Asia, an environmental group said Friday.
WWF International said that scientists in 2008 discovered 100 plants, 28 fish, 18 reptiles, 14 amphibians, two mammals and one bird species in the region. That works out to be about three species a week and is in addition to the 1,000 new species catalogued there from 1997 to 2007, the group said.
"After millennia in hiding these species are now finally in the spotlight, and there are clearly more waiting to be discovered," said Stuart Chapman, director of the WWF Greater Mekong Program.
A Khorat big-mouthed frog, known by its scientific name Limnonectes megastomias, at an unknown location in Thailand. Image Credit: David S. McLeod, WWF Greater Mekong
Among the stars in the new list is a fanged frog in eastern Thailand. Given the scientific name Limnonectes megastomias, the frog lies in wait along streams for prey including birds and insects.
Simon Mahood, a conservation adviser for BirdLife International in Indochina, welcomed WWF's attention to the new species and said more could be discovered if additional money is put into conservation and countries make it easier to do field work.
"We are seeing more reports of new discoveries and populations because this region is relatively poorly known, particularly when it comes to cryptic and less fashionable groups like fish and amphibians," said Mahood, whose group this year announced finding the first nest of white-eared night heron in Vietnam and the discovery of a baldheaded song bird in Laos called the barefaced Bulbul Pycnonotus hualon.
Experts said a range of factors contributed to the upsurge in new species, including better access to regions that have seen decades of war and political unrest and more spending by governments on research to protect and identify plants and animals.