Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Rare species of Borneo jungle frog wave to each other using their hind legs and spreading out their toes in a 'high five' – via Herp Digest

The endangered amphibian is commonly known as the Lesser Rock Frog
By Graham Smith,, 6/15/12, The Daily Mail, UK
A rare species of Borneo jungle frogs who communicate with each other by waving have left scientists baffled.
The endangered amphibians - commonly known as the Lesser Rock Frog - greet each other by waving their hind legs and spreading out their toes like a 'high five'.
Zoologists had originally thought the waving was connected with breeding habits.
But now they are uncertain as the frogs start waving long before sexual maturity.
Scientists at Schonbrunn Zoo in Vienna, Austria, bred more than a thousand Lesser Rock Frogs.
They have since discovered that that the frogs start waving almost as soon as they stop being tadpoles.
Dagmar Schratter, the zoo's director, said: 'Experts believed this had a connection with reproduction.
'But now we know that juvenile animals wave before sexual maturity it is puzzling. We are studying this.'
She added: 'We hope our visitors like them. With a bit of luck they might get a wave or two.'
In 2008, scientists in Borneo realised that a species of frog that breathes through its skin because it has no lungs, which makes it appear flat.
This aerodynamic shape allows the frogs to move swiftly in fast flowing streams.
Although the species was discovered in 1978, it was only recently that scientists found the frog has no lungs.

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