India’s newest frog evolved 60 million years ago
Scientists have discovered new starry dwarf frog species named Astrobatrachus kurichiyana in Western Ghats in Wayanad district of Kerala. Genetic analysis of this frog species has revealed that is at least 60 million years old.
- It has been named Astrobatrachus kurichiyana (genus Astrobatrachus) after its starry spots and kurichiyana in honour of Kurichiya tribe that live in the area.
- It is nocturnal amphibian and lives under leaf litter on mountaintop in Wayanad district of Kerala.
- It is just 2 cm long and sports pale blue spots and brilliant orange thighs. It has triangular finger- and toe tips.
- It has different orphological characters, shape and colour patterns as compared to other frogs seen Western Ghats.
What is Raorchestes
It refers to a group of frog species found in south and southeast Asia. Some of these bush frogs are small enough to fit on the tip of one’s thumb, measuring anywhere between 15 to 45 mm. A part of the larger family of tree frogs, they are called bush frogs because they are found in lower parts of the forest canopy, usually in bushes, shrubs and small trees. Bush frogs are nocturnal creatures, very hard to spot, and most easily found by tracking their loud calls, especially in the dark or the middle of the night.
There are five classes of vertebrate animals. These include fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. The frog is an example of the amphibian class. Amphibians spend part of their life cycle in water and part on land.
The life -cycle of a frog begins with a fertilized egg. The fertilized egg develops into a tadpole. The fertilized egg and tadpole stages are found in the water in the spring. The tadpole develops into an immature frog as final stage.