Thursday, August 26, 2010
Hey, Abe! Buddy! You gotta little sumthin'...
ya know, sumthin' froggy on your face there.
No, not there... over a little to the right. Okay, yeah, now you got it.
Pointy headed scientists are congratulating themselves on the discovery of what they assume to be the smallest species of amphibian outside of the Americas. They have given the new species the name Microhyla nepenthicola, which is Latin for "really tiny frog we overlooked a few times". The creatures had been found before, but earlier biologists made the assumption that these were juveniles, li'l baby froglets that would grow into normal sized critters over time. Turns out this is normal sized for them.
Da itty bitty froggies! Dey so CUUUUUUUTE!
The real reason for the species name for da itty bitty froggies is that they were found living in the puddle of water inside a pitcher plant named Nepenthes ampullaria, a type of carnivorous plant found in Borneo, sweet Borneo*! Other critters fall into these puddles and get trapped and die, and the pitcher plant then lives on the nutrients from the rotting remains. The little froggies are so small that the inside of the pitcher plant is not some claustrophobic death trap, but instead a lovely luxury resort.
Isn't nature wonderful, and by wonderful, I mean goofy? Go figure.
*My sister Karlacita! will know where that is taken from.