No-Lung Frogs found in Indonesia

Frog with no lungs found in Indonesian wild  by MICHAEL CASEY Associated Press April 10, 2008 at 1:09 PM EDT posted on the Globe and Mail.     BANGKOK — A frog has been found in a remote part of Indonesia that has no lungs and breathes through its skin, a discovery that researchers said Thursday could provide insight into what drives evolution in certain species.     The aquatic frog, Barbourula kalimantanensis, was found in a remote part of Indonesia’s Kalimantan province on Borneo island during an expedition in August, 2007, said David Bickford, an evolutionary biologist at the National University of Singapore. Bickford was part of the trip and co-authored a paper on the find that appeared in this week’s edition of the peer-reviewed journal Current Biology.     Mr. Bickford said the species is the first frog known to science without lungs and joins a short list of amphibians with this unusual trait, including a few species of salamanders and a wormlike creature known as a caecilian.     “These are about the most ancient and bizarre frogs you can get on the planet,” Mr. Bickford said of the brown amphibian with bulging eyes and a tendency to flatten itself as it glides across the water.    ‘These are about the most ancient and bizarre frogs you can get on the planet,’ biologist says. (AP)      “They are like a squished version of Jabba the Hutt,” he said, referring to the character from Star Wars. “They are flat and have eyes that float above the water. They have skin flaps coming off their arms and legs.”     Along with the lungless frog, Mr. Bickford said his team discovered two new lizard species and four other species of frogs during their two-month trip.     His Indonesian colleague, Djoko Iskandar, first came across the frog 30 years ago, and the biology professor from the Bandung Institute of Technology has been searching for it ever since. Five earlier expeditions had proved fruitless.     “We just suspected that something was peculiar about this frog because it died even in water,” Mr. Iskandar said. “When we cut it open, we found it had no lungs, no trachea not even a wind pipe.”  Read more.

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6 Responses to “No-Lung Frogs found in Indonesia”

  1. Bubbles Says:

    Very interesting!

  2. bubbleonfire Says:

    wow I’d love to see it.

  3. trugiaz Says:

    Pity it is found on Kalimantan or Borneo as the international world knows it, because the place is swarming with illegal loggers. *sigh I think only God knows what other species that might have been existed there.

  4. Jodi Says:

    Very interesting, indeed!

  5. pKay Says:

    Wow…. so this means it can’t get lung cancer? Word!!

    trugiaz: what a shame ey? Lucky it was found before it was wiped out with the rest of the now unknown species… Maybe they can save it? Eh..

  6. trugiaz Says:

    pKay: I’m quite sceptical about it, we’re talking about Indonesia here. I just hoped that the finding of this species would boost the conservation program not to virtually shut down the entire illegal logging/mining process.

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