‘Chocolate Frog’ Discovered In The Rainforest Of New Guinea

A new species of frog nicknamed the “chocolate frog” has been discovered in the rainforest of New Guinea.

A new paper published in the Australian Journal of Zoology reported about the new frogs (scientifically known as Litoria mira), which contrary to their name, are not for eating.

In the paper, Paul Oliver, a co-author of the study, noted that “closest-known relative of Litoria mira is the Australian green tree frog. The two species look similar except one is usually green, while the new species usually has a lovely chocolate colouring.”

Photo: Australian Journal of Zoology
Photo: Australian Journal of Zoology

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He further explained that the name, “Mira,” means surprised or strange in Latin. They chose the name “because it was a surprising discovery to find an over-looked relative of Austalia’s well-known and common green tree living in the lowland rainforests of New Guinea.”

Photo: Australian Journal of Zoology

They speculate that the frog remained hidden from discovery for so long because of its location in hot, swampy areas riddled with crocodiles.

The frogs don’t move from their location much due to the threats of the local environment, so they could really only be found through someone searching and finding them.

Photo: Australian Journal of Zoology

Researchers believe that the new species of frog separated from the green tree frog in Australia 2.6 to 5.3 million years ago when New Guinea became an independent island.

It’s hoped that further research will continue into the divergence of the species, as it will help them better understand how the different habitats have changed and evolved over time.

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