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New frog species discovered in New York City

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New frog species discovered in New York City

Postby Sico » Tue Nov 04, 2014 11:54 am

New Brunswick - Scientists have discovered a new species of leopard frog in the New York City metropolitan area and its surrounding coastal regions.
Named Rana kauffeldi, it had long remained undetected because it is a "cryptic species", one whose appearance makes it almost indistinguishable from a closely related species.
But its mating calls, in particular, are distinct, the scientists report in the online scientific journal PLOS ONE.
"This discovery is unexpected in one of the largest and most densely populated urban parts of the world," they said. "It also demonstrates that new vertebrate species can still be found periodically, even in well-studied locales rarely associated with undocumented biodiversity."
Field studies in 2012 had brought the first genetic evidence of a new frog species in the New York City region, where the similar leopard frog species, Rana pipiens und Rana sphenocephala, live.
As early as the 1930s, the American herpetologist Carl F Kauffeld suspected the presence of a third species.
Various frog species
A research team led by Jeremy Feinberg, a doctoral student at the Rutgers University School of Environmental and Biological Sciences in the US state of New Jersey, analysed mating calls of the various frog species along with minute differences in appearance and genetic markers.
The results showed that a previously undescribed species of leopard frog lives in eight eastern US states. The scientists named it Rana kauffeldi in honour of Kauffeld.

Image

Rana kauffeldi inhabits moderately moist lowlands including coastal freshwater wetlands, tidally influenced backwaters, and interior river valley floodplains, the scientists said. Its colour ranges from light green to dark brown with black spotting.
During the mating season, males congregate in groups of typically five or more and make low-pitched calls that do not carry far.
The scientists said that Rana kauffeldi was the first newly described anuran - an order of amphibians comprising frogs, toads, and tree frogs - from the US Atlantic coast since 1955. Some specimens were found less than 15km from the Statue of Liberty.
Feinberg's team first reported the new species in 2012 in the scientific journal Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution.
- SAPA
http://www.news24.com/Green/News/New-fr ... y-20141104

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Re: New frog species discovered in New York City

Postby Ruan Stander » Tue Nov 04, 2014 12:44 pm

Who would have thought, right there in the concrete jungle.
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Re: New frog species discovered in New York City

Postby Westley Price » Tue Nov 04, 2014 3:14 pm

Crazy!

Just goes to show that we still have a lot to learn about even the most populated areas. If new species of vertebrates are discovered there, imagine the possibilities for invertebrates!
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Re: New frog species discovered in New York City

Postby Bushviper » Tue Nov 04, 2014 3:57 pm

I am sure if we used the same techniques in SA we would realise we have many many species we are assuming are all the same.
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Re: New frog species discovered in New York City

Postby Ruan Stander » Tue Nov 04, 2014 10:56 pm

That's for sure Bushviper, but when does something get overdone or over-thought ?
I mean, splitting puff adders or boomslang in SA and giving them distinct species status, that's like classifying Asian people and European people as seperate species.
I could be missing something major at a genetic level, but it sure makes sense to me thinking about it like that.
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Re: New frog species discovered in New York City

Postby Westley Price » Wed Nov 05, 2014 7:53 am

Predator, I am 100% sure if there was not a ridiculous amount of controversy involved, many different races would be split into separate species or at least subspecies.

Races came into existence at different periods (some older than others) so how can they be the same?

But yeah, the amount of flack the scientist who publishes this work would get is enough to put them off completely.

I recall some time back a scientist in the US published a paper outlining differences between European Americans and Hispanic Americans (both sides with their own pros and cons) and he was figuratively burned at the stake.

I understand the issue, but I just wish people were not so sensitive. It's obvious that there are differences between races; I just wish people had the freedom to qualify those differences. There can't be any more prejudiced than already exists so what's the risk?
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Re: New frog species discovered in New York City

Postby Ruan Stander » Wed Nov 05, 2014 8:53 pm

Well that's exactly how I would put it, I've just never taken the 'risk' because of the obvious issues and inevitable conflict that is involved.
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Re: New frog species discovered in New York City

Postby Westley Price » Thu Nov 06, 2014 11:25 am

Yeah it's a sensitive issue and probably not suitable for a public forum and I am hijacking Sico's thread so maybe just leave it there.
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Re: New frog species discovered in New York City

Postby Ruan Stander » Thu Nov 06, 2014 3:01 pm

Agreed.
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