Sunday, February 03, 2008
Golden Frog Waves Goodbye
The Panamanian Golden Frog lived in an environment where fast-flowing streams made such noise that its croaks could not be heard by its fellows. So it evolved a new way of communication, and used hand-gestures to signal to friends, enemies, and potential mates.
The local people consider the Golden Frog to be lucky, but in this they are perhaps mistaken. The Golden Frog was recently filmed for the first time waving, but soon after this its habitat was invaded by the chytrid fungus, a menace threatening many amphibian species with extinction. The Golden Frogs were all taken into captivity for their own protection; the frog is now extinct in the wild.
The BBC crew who filmed the Golden Frog thoroughly disinfected before approaching the animal's habitat, so it probably was not them who brought the killer fungus to it.
Picture from the BBC article 'Last wave' for wild golden frog