In an exciting expedition to the forests of Mexico, researchers discovered six new adorable frog species. However, these frogs are unlike other more common species of frog. Instead of hatching from eggs as frog spawn, these newly discovered frogs actually emerge from the eggs as miniature frogs.
In addition to their unusual characteristics, the frogs are also incredibly small; small enough to be classed as Mexico’s smallest frog. The frogs are smaller than a British 1p coin, with a measurement of around 15mm long. However, adult males are even smaller, measuring in at just 13mm. This characteristic is one of the reasons the newly discovered species is also the bottom of the forest food chain.
"We’re really excited to have discovered six new Craugastor species that are completely new to science” said Tom Jameson, lead researcher of the study and a researcher at the University of Cambridge’s Department of Zoology and University Museum of Zoology.
The six new species have been named the following:
• Craugastor bitonium.
• Craugastor candelariensis.
• Craugastor cueyatl.
• Craugastor polaclavus.
• Craugastor portilloensis.
• Craugastor rubinus.
The name cueyatl actually means ‘frog’ in the indigenous language spoken in the Valley of Mexico where the species was found.
Other recent expeditions have been successful in discovering several new bird species, something which has brought much hope and excitement to researchers.
How Did The Team Identify The New Species Of Frog in Mexico?
First the frogs were sorted into different groups based on how similar their genes were. This was done using a technique known as DNA sequencing, which is the process of determining the nucleic acid sequence.
Next, the researchers used CT-scanning to create 3D models of the frogs skeletons, allowing physical details to be compared. After analysing the differences, the researchers final discovered that they had in fact found six new species of frog.