Fanged Frogs in the Land of the Lost

No, the fanged frogs are not THE FROG PRINCESS meets TWILIGHT! They are recently discovered amphibians, found with many amazing other animals, in an untouched jungle in a crater of Mount Bosavi in Papua New Guinea. It does seem incredible that such a pristine place still exists on Earth.

The Guardian (UK) reports that in addition to a fanged frog, they discovered:

  • an additional 16 new frogs species
  • giant monitor lizards
  • a grunting fish that makes noises from its swim bladder
  • kangaroos that live in trees
  • a giant rat the size of a large cat that may turn out to be the largest rat in the world
  • the never-before seen Bosavi silky cuscus, a marsupial that has no fear of humans and sat on one of the scientist’s shoulders

The rainforest in Papua New Guinea is disappearing at the rate of 3.5% per year, so these discoveries remind us of how important it is to preserve these incredibly biodiverse habitats. In fact, soon after this news was reported, the World Wildlife Fund reported the discovery of another fanged frog (this one eats birds!) in the Mekong river delta in Southeast Asia. This MSNBC article has a picture of the fanged frog and a slideshow of the other animals.

Below you can see some of these remarkable animals in a video from the Guardian about the Papua New Guinea expedition, led by an international team of scientists, cavers, and filmmakers. On the BBC Natural History Unit site, you can meet the explorers, see a map of where the expedition traveled, read some wild stories about the expedition, and see some episodes online (if you’re in the UK).