Lungless frog discovered
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A rare and primitive frog living in a remote Borneo stream has no lungs and apparently absorbs oxygen through its skin, researchers reported on Wednesday.
The aquatic frog has evolved backwards, re-acquiring a primordial trait, David Bickford of theand colleagues reported.
Studying the frog could help shed light on how lungs evolved in the first place, they wrote in the journal Current Biology, adding that illegal gold mining in the area may threaten the unique species.
"The evolution of lunglessness in tetrapods (amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals) is exceedingly rare, previously known only from amphibians -- two families of salamanders and a single species of caecilian (blindworm)," they wrote.
"Here we report the first case of complete lunglessness in a frog, Barbourula kalimantanensis, from the Indonesian portion of Borneo."
The frog may be endangered because of mining activity, the researchers said.LINK TO FULL STORY