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article imageNew frog species spotted in New York City

By Tim Sandle     Mar 19, 2012 in Science
New York - A new and unusual species of frog has been found in New York. Scientists have undertaken genetic tests and have confirmed that it is a new species. Due to their scarcity there have been calls for the frogs to be protected by a conservation order.
Biologists have discovered a new species of frog in the unlikely locale of New York City. The new frogs are a variant of leopard frogs and they were detected in the Tri-State area. The frog species has been called Rana, although the name will change in time. Leopold frogs are generally very similar in appearance, green with prominent black spotting.
According to the New York Times, the biologist who found the frogs, Jeremy A. Feinberg, realized that they could be a new species based on the their “croaks”, which are made as part of their mating call. The Rana frogs made a clicking sound which was very different to other types of frogs. In Ars Technica this is described as "long snore" or a "rapid chuckle”.
The frogs have only been isolated in urbanized areas, which include northern New Jersey, a small area within mainland New York, and on Staten Island.
To indicate that the frogs are indeed a new species, the research team undertook analysis of DNA extracts taken from the frogs (using what is termed phylogenetic analysis, a means of linking different species to different families at the genetic level).
The research has been published in the journal Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, with the paper written by Catherine Newman and her team. The paper is called “A new species of leopard frog (Anura: Ranidae) from the urban northeastern US”.
According to Wired Science, due to the scarcity of the frogs, scientists have expressed concerns about the vulnerability of the frogs to environmental changes which might affect the habitat of the frogs. Some scientists have called for the frogs to be protected under special conservation measures.
People in the vicinity who wish to see the frogs can visit the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, near the Hudson River, where a set have been placed.
More about Frogs, New york, New species, Biology
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