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Researchers Discover 100 New Frog Species

Biology

October 12, 2002|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

An international team of researchers has discovered more than 100 new frog species in the Sri Lankan rain forest, making the island an amphibian hot spot of global significance. Biologist Madhava Meegaskumbura of Boston University and his colleagues confirmed the novelty of each species by comparing them with Sri Lankan specimens in museums around the world.

Sri Lanka now has 140 species of frogs--on an island of more than 65,000 square kilometers, which has lost more than 95% of its rain forest habitat.

The number of species is comparable to the number on tropical islands that are 10 times larger, such as Madagascar. The findings suggest additional places of rich vertebrate diversity may be found elsewhere in tropical Asia, the authors reported in Friday's edition of Science.

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