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Breakthroughs in Science

Dead Frogs Tell Tales–not the fairy kind

May 7th, 2008


PNW amphibian experts have found evidence of a fungal scourge in frogs that has previously wiped out amphibian populations around the world–think ebola for frogs. And that’s not all.

As reported in a recent Seattle Times article:

“…killer fungus is only one of the perils amphibians face today, said Oregon State University biologist Andrew Blaustein, whose own research has shown that UV radiation can harm amphibians and their eggs. Chemical contaminants, parasites and other diseases also take a toll. Susceptibility varies by species, and factors interact, Blaustein pointed out. A frog whose immune system is weakened by UV radiation or toxins may be more vulnerable to infection. Global warming adds another level of stress.”

More than just a handsome prince waiting to be kissed by a princess, frogs are vital to the ecosystem. For one thing, they eat lots and lots of insects. And princesses aren’t the only ones who would suffer if frogs didn’t eat all those bugs.

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