January 6, 2010

Endangered Strangers: The Purple Frog

Top O' the Morning to You

I am the Purple Frog

I bet you thought all the Endangered Strangers were going to be cute, huh? Well I might be an odd looking fellow but I need conserving just as much as the next guy. I was described, rather unkindly if you ask me, as a "blackish-purple living fossil looks like a bloated doughnut with stubby legs and a pointy snout" by National Geographic. The nerve! I've never even heard of a doughnut, I daresay. I prefer to think of myself as a tubby amphibious mole. Everyone thinks moles are charming, right? I can be charming.

The Purple Frog was an astounding discovery in 2003, not only was it an unknown species, but it represented an entirely new frog family. There are only 29 known families of frogs, represening 4,800 species so the Purple Frog is quite special. Oh yes and charming, rather charming indeed.

Living underground the Purple Frog is only found in Southern India. His tropical forest-covered mountain range home is considered a biodiversity hotspot.

The inaccessibility of this remote area is one of the reasons this frog was officially undiscovered by humans for so long. Another being that the Purple Frog only surfaces for about 2 weeks out of the year, during the monsoon season, to breed. How's a monsoon season romance for charm?

The Purple Frog is described as a "living fossil" evolving independently for about 130 million years, outlasting the dinosaurs. It's closest living relatives can be found in the Seychelles Islands (hey we know somebody there). An interesting fact pointing to back to the super continent Gondwana. 120 million years ago Gondwana split apart into India, Australia, Antarctica, Madagascar and Seychelles.

I can has ants and small worms but if you hascoffee, cardamon, and ginger watch out! Some of those agricultures bestealin' my habitatz.



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