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Brachycephalus tridactylus. Photo by Andre M. X. Lima
A three fingered frog (Brachycephalus tridactylus
) discovered in 2007 has been classified as a new species after extensive research by the founder, biologist Michel Garey. According to Times Live
of South Africa, Garey was conducting ecological research in the Salto Morato rainforest reserve in southern Brazil, when he chanced upon the frog
and noticed that it had just three fingers.
Because Garey was working on research unrelated to amphibians at the time, it wasn't until 2011 that he was able to start his study of Brachycephalus tridactylus. It took him 18 months to complete his research, which involved collecting seven more frogs to compare with other frogs in museums. He then published his findings in the journal Herpetologica, which focuses on the study and conservation of amphibians and reptiles.
The frog was discovered at an altitude of about 3,000 feet and is orange with olive gray spots on its body. It is less than 1.5 centimeters in length. According to Garey, the male makes around 30 mating calls a day. The next step for Garey will be to assess the populations of the three fingered frog, which he will do in a future project in the Salto Morato rainforest.