Current Amphibians News and Events

Current Amphibians News and Events, Amphibians News Articles.
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Electrical transmission lines have power to enhance habitat connectivity for wildlife
CORVALLIS, Ore. - Converting the ground under electrical transmission towers into spaces for wildlife can enable fragmented populations to connect with one another, increasing local biodiversity and providing animals around the globe an important tool for adapting to climate change, a new study found. (2021-02-19)

The distribution of vertebrate animals redefines temperate and cold climate regions
The distribution of vegetation is routinely used to classify climate regions worldwide, yet whether these regions are relevant to other organisms is unknown. Umeå researchers have established climate regions based on vertebrate species' distributions in a new study published in eLife. They found that while high-energy climate regions are similar across vertebrate and plant groups, there are large differences in temperate and cold climates. (2021-02-18)

Infectious disease causes long-term changes to frog's microbiome
In a rare study published this week, Andrea Jani, a researcher with the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, determined the skin microbiome of an endangered frog was altered when the frogs were infected by a specific fungus, and it didn't recover to its initial state even when the frog was cured of the infection. (2021-02-10)

Fossil pigments shed new light on vertebrate evolution
This new paper shows that melanin is more than just something that gives colour to the body. It played an important role in the evolution of warm-blooded animals and helped defined what birds and mammals look like today. By studying where melanin occurs in the body in fossils and modern animals researchers have produced the first model for how melanin has evolved over the last 500 million years. (2021-02-04)

A deadly fungus is killing frogs, but the bacteria on their skin could protect them
Researchers in Costa Rica have found that some bacteria on the skin of amphibians prevent growth of the fungus responsible for what has been dubbed 'the amphibian apocalypse'. (2021-02-03)

Penned release of green geckos has potential to help preserve threatened native species
In a paper just published in the New Zealand Journal of Ecology, the Department of Zoology researchers outlined how they translocated 19 barking geckos to Mana Island, using the method of penned release - enclosing them in a 100m² pen for three months so they get used to the site and hopefully establish a breeding population. (2021-01-13)

New work provides insight into the relationship between complexity and diversity
Parts of the planet that are diverse biologically and culturally are even more diverse than you'd expect. A group of Santa Fe Institute collaborators developed a theory to show why richer environments are also more complex environments, where you tend to find more species and languages. (2021-01-05)

Beavers may help amphibians threatened by climate change
A study of pond sites in the Cascades found greater amphibian diversity in sites with beaver damns. Red-legged frogs and northwestern salamanders, which develop more slowly, were detected almost exclusively in dammed sites. (2020-12-08)

Miniature guttural toads on Mauritius and Réunion stun researchers
Researchers from the DSI/NRF Center for Invasion Biology at Stellenbosch University in South Africa have found that, scarcely a hundred years after Guttural Toads were introduced to the islands of Mauritius and Réunion, their overall body size has been reduced by up to a third compared to their counterparts in South Africa. (2020-12-08)

Amphibian die-offs worsened malaria outbreaks in Central America
The global collapse of frogs and other amphibians due to the amphibian chytrid fungus exacerbated malaria outbreaks in Costa Rica and Panama during the 1990s and 2000s, according to new research. The findings provide the first evidence that amphibian population declines have directly affected human health and show how preserving biodiversity can benefit humans as well as local ecosystems. (2020-12-02)

Climate warming increases infectious disease risk in cooler-climate species
Accelerated climate warming may increase the risk for infectious disease outbreaks in many species adapted to mild and cooler climates, whereas species from warmer climates could experience reductions in disease risk, reports a new study. (2020-11-19)

Climate change and food demand could shrink species' habitats by almost a quarter by 2100
Mammals, birds and amphibians worldwide have lost on average 18% of their natural habitat range as a result of changes in land use and climate change, a new study has found. In a worst-case scenario this loss could increase to 23% over the next 80 years. (2020-11-06)

Earliest example of a rapid-fire tongue found in 'weird and wonderful' extinct amphibians
Fossils of bizarre, armored amphibians known as albanerpetontids provide the oldest evidence of a slingshot-style tongue, a new Science study shows. (2020-11-05)

A species identified in 2016 as an ancient form of chameleon was misidentified at that time, say researchers
A species identified in 2016 as an ancient form of chameleon was misidentified at that time, say researchers, many of whom were part of the original 2016 report. (2020-11-05)

Tracking the Himalayan history from the evolution of hundreds of frogs, lizards and snakes
We examined two hypotheses about the uplift of the Himalaya based on biotic assembly through time of the herpetofauna. Our analyses support a recently proposed stepwise geological model of Himalayan uplift beginning in the Paleocene, with a subsequent rapid increase of uplifting during the Miocene, finally giving rise to the intensification of the modern South Asia Monsoon. These series of geological and climatic events have left significant signal on the evolution of herpetofauna. (2020-10-26)

World's greatest mass extinction triggered switch to warm-bloodedness
Mammals and birds today are warm-blooded, and this is often taken as the reason for their great success. (2020-10-16)

Venom glands similar to those of snakes are found for first time in amphibians
Brazilian researchers discover that caecilians, limbless amphibians resembling worms or snakes that emerged some 150 million years before the latter, can probably inject venom into their prey while biting. (2020-10-01)

Climate crisis ages fish, amphibians and reptiles
Climatic conditions are changing at an unprecedented rate, affecting mainly fish, amphibians and reptiles, ectothermic animals that are unable to generate their own internal heat. With heat waves and rising temperatures, these organisms experience not only increased growth rates and heat stress, but also further ageing. (2020-09-16)

Fossil growth reveals insights into the climate
Panthasaurus maleriensis is an ancestor of today's amphibians and has been considered the most puzzling representative of the Metoposauridae. Paleontologists from Bonn (Germany) and Opole (Poland) examined the fossil's bone tissue and compared it with other representatives of the family also dating from the Triassic. They discovered phases of slower and faster growth in the bone, which apparently depended on the climate. (2020-09-08)

Common species mirror rare animals' response to global change
A study of more than 2,000 species reveals animal populations around the world - from the very common to endangered species - are going up and down as global change alters land, sea and freshwater ecosystems. (2020-09-02)

Herbicide harming marsupial health and development, research finds
Researchers exposed the adult female tammar wallabies to atrazine contaminated water throughout pregnancy, birth and lactation to help establish the extent of harm being caused by the chemical. They then examined the reproductive development of their young by assessing their growth and development to establish that the herbicide is causing major abnormalities in the male reproductive system in many animals. (2020-08-05)

New studies show how to save parasites and why it's important
An international group of scientists published a paper, Aug. 1, 2020, in a special edition of the journal Biological Conservation that lays out an ambitious global conservation plan for parasites. A separate paper also found that the responses of parasites to environmental change are likely to be complex, and that a changing world probably will see both outbreaks of some parasites and a total loss of other parasite species. (2020-08-01)

Wrong number of fingers leads down wrong track
Have you ever wondered why our hands have five fingers while amphibians usually only have four? Until now it was assumed that this was already the case with the early ancestors of today's frogs and salamanders, the Temnospondyli. However, a new find of the crocodile-like Temnospondyl Metoposaurus krasiejowensis (about 225 million years old) in Poland shows five metacarpal bones and thus five fingers. Thus, until now, fossil animal tracks may have been wrongly assigned. (2020-07-24)

Dehydration increases amphibian vulnerability to climate change
Amphibians have few options to avoid the underappreciated one-two punch of climate change, according to a new study from Simon Fraser University researchers and others. Rising summer temperatures are also resulting in higher rates of dehydration among wet-skinned amphibians as they attempt to keep themselves cool. (2020-07-15)

First evidence of snake-like venom glands found in amphibians
Caecilians are limbless amphibians that can be easily mistaken for snakes. Though caecilians are only distantly related to their reptilian cousins, researchers in a study appearing July 3 in the journal iScience describe specialized glands found along the teeth of the ringed caecilian (Siphonops annulatus), which have the same biological origin and possibly similar function to the venom glands of snakes. As such, caecilians may represent the oldest land-dwelling vertebrate animal with oral venom glands. (2020-07-03)

'Fang'tastic: researchers report amphibians with snake-like dental glands
Utah State University biologist Edmund 'Butch' Brodie, Jr. and colleagues from Brazil's Butantan Institute describe oral glands in a family of terrestrial caecilians, serpent-like amphibians related to frogs and salamanders. (2020-07-03)

Environmental DNA detection could cut pathogens in pet trade
As the SARS-CoV-2 puts new focus on zoonotic pathogens, a Washington State University researcher has developed a method to use environmental DNA (eDNA) to detect disease in the vast international trade of aquatic animals. (2020-06-24)

Shining like a diamond: A new species of diamond frog from northern Madagascar
Despite the active ongoing taxonomic progress on the Madagascar frogs, the amphibian inventory of this hyper-diverse island is still very far from being complete. More new species are constantly being discovered, often within already well-studied areas. So, in one of the relatively well-studied parks in northern Madagascar, a new species of diamond frog, Rhombophryne ellae, was found in 2017. Now, the discovery is published in the open-access journal Zoosystematics and Evolution. (2020-06-16)

The disease pyramid: Environment, pathogen, individual and microbiome
Researchers from the Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB), the Université de Toulouse and the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) show how the microbial colonisation of the organism influences the interactions between living organisms, the environment and pathogens, using amphibians like frogs as examples. This is basic research for health prophylaxis. (2020-06-11)

'Social distancing' saves frogs: New approach to identify individual frogs noninvasively
Amphibians possess diverse colour patterns and body markings that can be used to identify individuals, just like fingerprints for humans. This is how Naitik Patel and Dr Abhijit Das came up with one of the very first non-invasive techniques to identify individual frogs using a biometric software. Their protocol, recently published in the open-access journal Herpetozoa, allows for the rapid estimation of frog populations. Thus, it is meant to aid conservation of many endangered amphibians. (2020-06-08)

Human activity threatens 50 billion years of vertebrate evolutionary history
A new study maps for the first time the evolutionary history of the world's terrestrial vertebrates: amphibians, birds, mammals and reptiles. It explores how areas with large concentrations of evolutionarily distinct species are being impacted by our ever-increasing 'human footprint.' (2020-06-03)

Palaeontology: Fossil frogs offer insights into ancient Antarctica
The discovery of the earliest known modern amphibians in Antarctica provides further evidence of a warm and temperate climate in the Antarctic Peninsula before its separation from the southern supercontinent, Gondwana. The fossils, which belong to the family of helmeted frogs, are described in Scientific Reports this week. (2020-04-23)

Earth Day alert to save our frogs
With climate action a theme of Earth Day 2020 (April 22, 2020), a new research paper highlights the plight of some of the most at-risk amphibian species - and shortfalls in most conservation efforts. More than birds and most mammals, amphibians (frogs, salamander, worm-like caecilians, anurans, etc) are on the front line of extinction in a hotter, dryer climate conditions. (2020-04-16)

New information about the transmission of the amphibian pathogen, Bsal
Using existing data from controlled experiments and computer simulations, researchers with the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture have found that host contact rates and habitat structure affect transmission rates of Bsal among eastern newts, a common salamander species found throughout eastern North America. (2020-04-08)

Reanalysis of global amphibian crisis study finds important flaws
Last year in the journal Science, a research review concluded that the chytrid fungus caused the decline of at least 501 amphibian species, of which 90 have gone extinct. A team of University of California, Berkeley, scientists has reanalyzed a study, finding that the paper's main conclusions lack evidence and are unreproducible. The authors argue that transparent data collection and analysis are crucial -- both for science and conservation efforts. (2020-03-20)

New study reveals early evolution of cortex
Their researches on the lamprey brain has enabled researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden to push the birth of the cortex back in time by some 300 million years to over 500 million years ago, providing new insights into brain evolution. The study is published in the scientific journal Nature Ecology & Evolution. (2020-03-16)

Microplastics affect the survival of amphibians and invertebrates in river ecosystems
In collaboration with the National Museum of Natural Sciences (CSIC) in Madrid, the UPV/EHU's Stream Ecology research group has conducted two parallel studies to look at how the larvae of one freshwater amphibian and one invertebrate evolved during 15 days' exposure to microplastics at different concentrations. The highest concentrations used had lethal effects and the intermediate ones reduced the growth of the amphibians. (2020-03-10)

Researchers solve old biodiversity mystery
The underlying cause for why some regions are home to an extremely large number of animal species may be found in the evolutionary adaptations of species, and how they limit their dispersion to specific natural habitats. This was shown in a new study by researchers from the University of Copenhagen and the Smithsonian Institution. The research sheds new light on an old controversy regarding the origin of biodiversity. (2020-02-27)

Zoology: Biofluorescence may be widespread among amphibians
Biofluorescence, where organisms emit a fluorescent glow after absorbing light energy, may be widespread in amphibians including salamanders and frogs, according to a study in Scientific Reports. Biofluorescence had previously been observed in only one salamander and three frog species. (2020-02-27)

A salamander named Egoria: Palaeontologists identify new Jurassic amphibian
A group of Russian and German palaeontologists have described a previously unknown genus and species of prehistoric salamanders. The new amphibian is named Egoria malashichevi -- in honor of Yegor Malashichev a talented scientist and associate professor of the Department of Vertebrate Zoology at St Petersburg University, who passed away at the end of 2018. (2020-02-19)

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