Tooth Frog Species: Overview of Discovery

Tooth Frog Species: Overview of Discovery

Discuss the discovery of Tooth Frog Species.

- Earlier only one tooth frog species has been identified with Upper Guinea forests of West Africa

- This is the region which stretches across parts of Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Togo.

- Researchers have found the lone species is actually a family of 4 speciations

- 4 new torrent tooth frog species which are highly endangered have been now discovered

- The lone species Obdontobatrachus natator is easy to differentiate between West African torrent frogs but tough to separate from closest relatives

- Fresh molecular analysis by German researchers has found distinguished morphological characteristics necessitating a new species designation

- Single species is a family with species variation

- These sabre toothed frogs are named for the unusual jawbones with tusk like appendages from the lower jay and curved upper teeth

- These frogs are nocturnal

Implications of Research

- Recognition and description of species is a first step for baseline of subsequent studies to further data on ecology or behaviour

- Upper Guinea’s torrent frogs now have their own genus which is facing extinction due to habitat loss

- It also indicated Upper Guinean hotspot is a place where true biodiversity is far from completely being known

- Suggested existence of complex of cryptic species has also been based on analysis of genetic and morphological characteristics of the species

Facts and Stats

- More than 10 new amphibian species have been discovered in this region

- The Upper Guinea forests have more than 1/4th of the African mammals

- They also have more than 20 species of primates

- Logging, mining, hunting and human population boom have contributed to species extinction and the shrinkage of habitat

- Five endemic bird areas lie within this unique biodiversity hotspot
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