Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Bizarre Amphibians Found Living on the Edge

By Jeanna Bryner, LiveScience Staff Writer

posted: 22 January 2008 ET

The purple frog

Blind salamanders, legless amphibians with tentacles on their heads and ghost frogs whose favorite haunt is a human burial ground are just a few of the world's weirdest and most endangered creatures.

The Zoological Society of London announced this week these are among the 10 most unusual and threatened amphibian species, as part of the EDGE Amphibians conservation and fundraising initiative. Amphibians that made the list are deemed by the society to be the most evolutionarily distinct and globally endangered, aka EDGE species. They have few close relatives in the tree of life and are genetically unique, along with being on the verge of extinction.

Chinese giant salamander
A Chinese giant salamander

"These animals may not be cute and cuddly, but hopefully their weird looks and bizarre behaviors will inspire people to support their conservation," said Helen Meredith, EDGE Amphibians conservationist in England.

Hewitt's ghost frog

Species that are evolutionarily distinct are one of a kind, said Arne Mooers of Simon Fraser University in Canada.

"We can't afford to lose these ones, because they are so different from everything else," said Mooers, who works with scientists as part of the EDGE of Existence program. "If we lose these, then we lose a big chunk of the total variation," he said, referring to overall biodiversity.

Read The Article Here

Another interesting animal story - see below.

Read about gharials here

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