All of them are less than one cm long and they have special features, such as poisonous skin that protects them from predators. They are very colorful and good looking.
The researchers, who went on an expedition that lasted five years, have presented their findings in the journal PeerJ. This part of Brazil is extremely fruitful, as its fertile land produces many species for scientists to explore.
One of the researchers, professor Marcio Pie of the Federal University of Parana, said that every square kilometer of this land hosts more species than the Amazon. He and his team of researchers had to explore every inch of land to find the unusual creatures.
Most of the time, they could only hear them and it could take a long while to spot their location, mainly because the tiny creatures had the permanent tendency to hide from predators.
“You can hear them singing and there’s probably hundreds of them, but you simply can’t catch them! Because once you get closer, just from the vibration in the ground, they keep silent for, say, 20 minutes or half an hour. And then you have to go through the leaf litter very carefully with your hands,” said professor Marcio Pie.
The Bracycephalus frogs, which are very sensitive to the environment, are affected by temperature shifts, which has prompted them to develop into very diverse species.
They are also quite different from other frogs as well, especially regarding their anatomy. Some of them would only develop 2 fingers and 3 toes, instead of 4 fingers and 5 toes like most frogs do.
What distinguishes them most is their skin – both in terms of color and bumpiness. Scientists explain that the more colorful a frog is, the more poisonous it gets because the vibrant tones reflect the level of the poisonous tetrodoxin present in the skin.
The scientists would take them to the lab and run tests to establish what species they belonged to.
They have recently managed to find four more species, but the expedition is still in progress, so the details have not been published yet.
The experts stated that the presence of these frogs means that the area has remained stable throughout the last 500,000 years regarding climate, given the wide variety of places that yielded the species.
If it had been any warmer, the environment would have probably disappeared and these species would have gone extinct. On the other hand, if the weather had turned colder, the frogs would have moved all in the same place, across the valleys.
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