Apr 29, 2021

New pumpkin toadlet species found in Brazil

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

A team of researchers from Universidade Estadual Paulista, Universidade Federal do Mato Grosso do Sul and Projeto Dacnis, São Francisco Xavier and Ubatuba has discovered a new species of pumpkin toadlet. In their paper published on the open-access site PLOS ONE, the group describes their study of pumpkin toadlets in Brazil, how they found the new species and what sets it apart from other pumpkin toadlets.

Pumpkin toadlets are a group of related species of bright orange amphibians. They look like tiny frogs, and most are small enough to sit on a thumbnail—many of them are also poisonous. In this new effort, the researchers were studying pumpkin toadlets living in a heavily forested part of Brazil, just south of the Mantiqueira mountains, along its eastern coast—in the state of São Paulo. To date, several species have been identified. To learn more about them, the researchers traveled to the area multiple times between late 2017 and late 2019, collecting samples. The collecting was made easier through the use of a fluorescent light—some of the bones of the tiny creatures light up right through the skin. In all, the team collected 276 specimens which they took back to their lab for study. Each was given a DNA test to identify its species.

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