This video, made in May 2017 in the Netherlands, shows common frogs during their mating season and the resulting frog spawn.
Stanley Quarré made this video.
The harp music is by Anne Vanschothorst.
This 2014 video about Beelzebufo ampinga is called Prehistoric News : Devil Frog had Spikes and Armor.
Giant Prehistoric Frogs Ate Small Dinosaurs, Claim Scientists
Sep 20, 2017
Exceptionally large individuals of Beelzebufo ampinga, an extinct species of frog that lived in Madagascar during the Late Cretaceous epoch, about 68 million years ago, were capable of eating small dinosaurs, according to an international research team led by California State Polytechnic University scientists.
“Unlike the vast majority of frogs which have weak jaws and typically consume small prey, horned frogs ambush animals as large as themselves — including other frogs, snakes, and rodents,” explained co-author Dr. Marc Jones, from the University of Adelaide and the South Australian Museum.
“And their powerful jaws play a critical role in grabbing and subduing the prey.”
Dr. Jones and co-authors from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia found that small horned frogs, with head width of about 1.8 inches (4.5 cm), can bite with a force of 30 newtons (N), or about 3 kg/6.6 lbs.
A scaling experiment, comparing bite force with head and body size, calculated that large horned frogs that are found in the tropical and subtropical moist lowland forests of South America, with a head width of up to 4 inches (10 cm), would have a bite force of almost 500 N. This is comparable to reptiles and mammals with a similar head size.
“This would feel like having 50 liters of water balanced on your fingertip,” explained lead author Professor Kristopher Lappin, of California State Polytechnic University.
“Yet, these predators have given us a rare opportunity to learn something more about the biology of a huge extinct frog.”
“At this bite force, Beelzebufo ampinga would have been capable of subduing the small and juvenile dinosaurs that shared its environment,” Dr. Jones said.
“This is the first time bite force has been measured in a frog,” Professor Lappin said.
“And, speaking from experience, horned frogs have quite an impressive bite, and they tend not to let go.”
“The bite of a large Beelzebufo ampinga would have been remarkable, definitely not something I would want to experience firsthand.”
The study appears today in the journal Scientific Reports.
This video says about itself:
23 January 2016
The first major groups of amphibians developed in the Devonian period, around 370 million years ago, from lobe-finned fish which were similar to the modern coelacanth and lungfish. These ancient lobe-finned fish had evolved multi-jointed leg-like fins with digits that enabled them to crawl along the sea bottom.
Some fish had developed primitive lungs to help them breathe air when the stagnant pools of the Devonian swamps were low in oxygen. They could also use their strong fins to hoist themselves out of the water and onto dry land if circumstances so required.
Eventually, their bony fins would evolve into limbs and they would become the ancestors to all tetrapods, including modern amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. Despite being able to crawl on land, many of these prehistoric tetrapodomorph fish still spent most of their time in the water. They had started to develop lungs, but still breathed predominantly with gills.
From the University of Toronto in Canada:
Ancient amphibian had mouthful of teeth ready to grab you
September 15, 2017
The idea of being bitten by a nearly toothless modern frog or salamander sounds laughable, but their ancient ancestors had a full array of teeth, large fangs and thousands of tiny hook-like structures called denticles on the roofs of their mouths that would snare prey, according to new research by paleontologists at the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM).
In research published online in a recent issue of PeerJ, an open access journal, Professor Robert Reisz, Distinguished Professor of Paleontology at UTM, explains that the presence of such an extensive field of teeth provides clues to how the intriguing feeding mechanism seen in modern amphibians was also likely used by their ancient ancestors.
They believe that the tooth-bearing plates, ideally suited for holding on to prey, such as insects or smaller tetrapods, may have facilitated a method of swallowing prey items via retraction of the eyeballs into the mouth, as some amphibians do today.
In many vertebrates, ranging from fish to early synapsids (ancestors of mammals), denticles are commonly found in dense concentrations on the bones of the hard palate (roof of the mouth). However, in one group of tetrapods, temnospondyls (which are thought to be the ancestors of modern amphibians) these denticles were also found on small, bony plates that filled the large soft part of the palate. The entire roof of the mouth was covered with literally thousands of these tiny teeth that they used to grab prey. Since these toothy plates were suspended in soft tissue, they are often lost or scattered during fossilization.
Denticles are significantly smaller than the teeth around the margin of the mouth — on the order of dozens to a couple hundred microns in length. They are actually true teeth, rather than just protrusions in the mouths of these tetrapods, says Reisz and his colleagues, Bryan Gee and Yara Haridy, both graduate students in paleontology.
“Denticles have all of the features of the large teeth that are found on the margin of the mouth,” says Reisz. “In examining tetrapod specimens dating back ~289 million years, we discovered that the denticles display essentially all of the main features that are considered to define teeth, including enamel and dentine, pulp cavity and peridontia.”
In reaching these conclusions, the researchers analyzed [Permian age] specimens unearthed from the fossil-rich Dolese Brothers Limestone Quarry near Richards Spur, Oklahoma. They were extraordinarily well preserved, making them ideal candidates for study.
The researchers extracted and isolated the denticle-bearing plates, created thin section slides and examined them under the microscope — no small feat since denticles on this animal were only about 100 microns long.
Reisz and his graduate students suggest that the next big question relates to evolutionary changes to the overall abundance of teeth: if these ancient amphibians had an astonishing number of teeth, why have most modern amphibians reduced or entirely lost their teeth?
This video from Britain says about itself:
26 May 2015
A short video detailing the life of a female great crested newt (Triturus cristatus) broadcast on the BBC television show Springwatch. Michaela narrates the story of a female newt who has just come out of hibernation and is looking for a mate. The clip is from the first episode of Springwatch from 2015.
By Peter Frost in Britain:
An endangered delight
Friday 1st September 2017
The rare dragon newt is under threat from housing development – best try and spot it while you can, suggests PETER FROST
NEW rules and how they are interpreted by Natural England, Defra and Michael Gove, the Minister for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, are making it much easier for builders to disturb and move populations of one of our most exotic wild animals, the rare and threatened great crested newt (Triturus cristatus), also known as the dragon newt.
Perhaps this change of policy is a payback to some of the Tory house builders and developers that he met and begged donations from in his time as shadow minister of housing from 2007 to 2010.
The new guidelines will certainly do nothing to preserve and promote this spectacular but threatened [amphibian] that is such a brave sight in our ponds.
The “dragons” in my local pond arrived late this year. Snow, and weather cold enough to freeze the pond, had delayed their arrival.
Once the weather warmed up the black beasts with their fire bellies and their darting tongues entertained us with their curious mating dance among the reeds and lily pads.
It’s a delight to lie on the side of the pond and quietly watch these rare creatures. They might only be six or seven inches long but close up they are as impressive as any dragon in a story book. Years ago as a young boy I kept them as pets in a fish tank. We know better now and today this particular newt is one of the most protected animals in Britain and Europe.
The great crested is the biggest and least common of the three newts found in the British Isles. Another similar amphibian is the smooth or common newt (Lissotriton vulgaris, but still listed in many books as Triturus vulgaris). This species is found throughout Britain and is the only newt species to be found in Ireland.
It can grow to four inches and is the species most often found in ponds, including garden ponds, during the breeding season between February and June.
Britain’s other small brown newt is the Palmate (Triturus helveticus). It is a little smaller than the Smooth Newt, rarely reaching three inches.
It has a definite preference for shallow ponds on acid soils and is most commonly found on heathland in the south and west and, in the north, on moorland and in bogs.
A good field guide and many websites will have pictures to help you recognise the three species.
Since the war, populations of great crested newts have declined in most of Europe including in Wales and Scotland. Heavily protected by law, it clawed its way back. Now in Gove’s safe hands, who knows its fate.
If you want to identify dragon newts, look for dark grey-brown backs and flanks, and a covering of darker-coloured spots so they appear almost black. Their undersides are either bright yellow or orange-coloured and are covered in large, black blotches. Real experts can recognise individual newts by the unique blotch patterns on their undersides.
Only the males have a spectacular jagged crest, which runs along their backs, during the breeding season. A separate, smoother-edged crest runs above and below their tails.
Females have no crest but have a yellow-orange stripe along the lower edge of their tails and often an orange stripe along their backs and tails.
The newts normally live on land but take to ponds to breed. A larger male performs a spectacular courtship display, a kind of dance during which he deposits a small packet of sperm in the path of the female.
Then he swims sideways in front of her to gently encourage her into a position where the packet will be pressed against her and picked up by her cloaca, her sexual opening. It’s sex, but not as we know it.
Once fertilised, the female can start to lay two or three eggs a day. She will keep laying for as long as four months until 200 to 300 eggs have been laid.
The eggs, each carefully wrapped in a leaf, are laid on submerged aquatic plants. The larvae or efts hatch after about three weeks and then live in the pond as aquatic predators. The newts will have chosen a pond with no fish as they eat the efts.
The latter transform into air-breathing baby newts at about four months old, when they move on to dry land until they are old enough to breed in two or three years’ time.
Throughout October to March, adult newts hibernate under logs and stones or in the mud at the bottom of their breeding ponds.
The newts normally return to the same breeding site each year and can live as long as 25 years, although up to about 10 years is more usual.
If, like me, you like nature a bit more out of the box did you know that many serious Loch Ness Monster hunters believe Nessie is in fact a giant newt or the closely related salamander? It was identified as such as long ago as 1931. The shape was always right until forged pictures started the illusion of the long, dinosaur-like neck.
Both Chinese and Japanese giant salamanders grow to nearly six feet. They love deep, dark waters and are so secretive that they are rarely ever seen. You can make up your own mind.
By Natali Anderson:
Bizarre New Species of Frog Discovered in India: Nasikabatrachus bhupathi
Aug 28, 2017
Herpetologists are claiming they have discovered a new species of purple frog living in the Western Ghats, India.
The proposed English name is the Bhupathy’s purple frog.
The new species was described by Dr. S. Jegath Janani from the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CSIR-CCMB) in Hyderabad, India, and his colleagues from the American Museum of Natural History the CSIR-CCMB, and the Nature Environment and Wildlife Society.
“The name of this species, bhupathi, commemorates Dr. S. Bhupathy, a noted scientist and a field herpetologist,” the authors explain.
They say Nasikabatrachus bhupathi is just the second member of the genus Nasikabatrachus.
Nasikabatrachus bhupathi measures between 1.8 and 2 inches (4.5-5 cm) in length.
“The abdominal skin of the species is smooth, grayish-white with faint marbling in coloration. The skin on dorsum is smooth, thick, and dark brown from vent to shoulder. The head is lighter brown; no dorso-lateral or transverse skin folds,” Dr. Janani and co-authors say.
“The body is globular; the head is not externally distinct from body, the snout is acutely pointed with a lighter colored fleshy protuberance and a hard knob-like projection at the tip.”
“The mouth is small, subterminal, ventral, and posterior to snout tip; the tongue is small with entire rounded tip.”
According to the team, Nasikabatrachus bhupathi lives on the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats.
“The currently known distribution of Nasikabatrachus bhupathi is restricted to three highly seasonal second order streams,” they say.
“The type locality is on the leeward side of the Western Ghats, which receives less rainfall than the western slopes of these mountains during southwest monsoon.”
Both Nasikabatrachus bhupathi and N. sahyadrensis are highly adapted for fossoriality (burrowing).
“Nasikabatrachus frogs live and feed underground, therefore hard, dry soil and rock (from mountain uplift) is expected to present an insurmountable barrier to burrowing and feeding, preventing them from dispersing far,” the researchers say.
This video says about itself:
7 March 2017
In the Pui Pui Protected Forest, Peruvian Andes, researchers discovered a new species of terrestrial-breeding frog. The species was named Pristimantis attenboroughi, Attenborough’s Rubber Frog, in honour of Sir David Attenborough.
And now, more relatives of this frog have been discovered in that area.
From the University of Michigan in the USA:
Three species of tiny frogs discovered in Peruvian Andes
July 27, 2017
A University of Michigan ecologist and his colleagues have discovered three more frog species in the Peruvian Andes, raising to five the total number of new frog species the group has found in a remote protected forest since 2012.
The three newly found species live in the mountain forests and Andean grasslands of the Pui Pui Protected Forest in central Peru. They are described in a study to be published online July 27 in the journal Zootaxa. All three species measure an inch or less in length, from snout to vent.
“Our team has now described five new species of frogs from this region, with several more to come in the near future,” said Rudolf von May, a postdoctoral researcher in the Rabosky Lab at the U-M Museum of Zoology and the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Other team members are in Illinois, the Czech Republic and Peru.
“These discoveries demonstrate the need for further scientific exploration of such Andean habitats,” he said. “While the Pui Pui Protected Forest was established in 1985, virtually no biological surveys were conducted in the park for nearly three decades, and the potential for additional discoveries is enormous.”
The three new frog species belong to the genus Pristimantis, the most diverse genus of frogs in the tropical Andes. With nearly 500 species, they are part of the family Craugastoridae, commonly known as land-breeding or terrestrial-breeding frogs.
While most frogs lay eggs in water, terrestrial-breeding frogs use a specialized reproductive mode called direct development: A clutch of embryos hatches directly into froglets; there are no free-living tadpoles. This allows the group to exploit a wide variety of habitats, as long as those locations contain sufficient moisture.
Terrestrial-breeding frogs appear to have undergone an evolutionary radiation at high elevations in Peru, as many species resemble one another and have similar life histories. A so-called adaptive radiation occurs when a single ancestral group produces many descendant species adapted to different habitats and ways of life.
The Zootaxa paper names and describes the three newly discovered frog species and presents supporting morphological and phylogenetic evidence. The first author of the paper is Edgar Lehr of Illinois Wesleyan University.
The frog species bear the name of the Pui Pui park, the mountain-forest habitat in the park, and a naturalist-explorer. They are:
The Pui Pui Rubber Frog, Pristimantis puipui, known from a single site near Laguna Sinchón, which marks the approximate center of the Pui Pui Protected Forest, at an elevation of 12,762 feet above sea level. The species name is derived from the Quechua words “pui pui” meaning “eyes of water,” a reference to the many lakes of the Pui Pui Protected Forest.
The Hill Dweller Rubber Frog, Pristimantis bounides, known from two sites at elevations of 10,991 feet and 11,362 feet. The species name “bounides” is derived from the Greek noun “bounos,” which means “dweller of the hills” and refers to the habitat of the mountain forests where this frog was found.
The Humboldt’s Rubber Frog, Pristimantis humboldti, known from a single site at 10,886 feet. The species name is the patronym of the German naturalist and explorer Alexander von Humboldt, who traveled the New World between 1799 and 1804 and whose ideas changed our understanding of the world.
Earlier this year, the researchers described two other new species of Peruvian frogs, Pristimantis ashaninka and Pristimantis attenboroughi. The first was named after the Ashaninka, a group of indigenous people from the Peruvian and Brazilian Amazon, some of whom live near Pui Pui. The second species was named after BBC naturalist and broadcaster David Attenborough.
Future papers by the group will describe five more newly discovered species from Pui Pui: three frogs and two lizards.
The Pui Pui Protected Forest covers 150,000 acres and includes dozens of lakes and streams that feed several rivers in the upper Amazon River watershed. About 70 percent of the protected forest is covered by Andean grasslands, and about 30 percent is cloud forest.
“Our findings suggest that the Pui Pui Protected Forest houses unique biological communities containing species found nowhere else,” Lehr said. “One reason for this is that the area has a steep topographic gradient including a broad array of habitats and local microclimates that contribute to high amphibian species diversity.”
Von May and Lehr first discussed the possibility of exploring the Pui Pui in 2003. In early 2012, Lehr received funding from the National Geographic Society to survey the area, and they carried out the first expeditions that year.
Two other herpetologists joined subsequent trips: Jiri Moravec of the National History Museum in Prague, Czech Republic and Juan Carlos Cusi of the Museum of Natural History of Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos in Lima, Peru.
Altogether, the team spent nearly three months in the field between 2012 and 2014, in a region where mountains taller than 13,000 feet are common.
“Our team worked with local guides and park rangers,” von May said. “The equipment, food and camping supplies used in the expeditions were carried by horses and mules.”
Most of the frogs were discovered by searching through moss and grass and under rocks, small bushes and other vegetation. In some cases, the researchers found frogs after hearing the males calling during light afternoon or evening rains.
Given that the newly discovered frog species live in the Pui Pui Protected Forest, much of their habitat is formally protected. However, amphibians worldwide face multiple threats — including habitat loss, the deadly chytrid skin fungus and climate change — and Andean amphibians are no exception.
In the Peruvian Andes, habitat loss is currently the main threat. Of special concern are forest clearcuttings and humanmade fires used to expand agricultural crops and grazing areas for livestock.
Worldwide, the number of known amphibian species continues to rise due to new discoveries and now stands at nearly 7,700.