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New Frog Species Found In NYC

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the poison-stare-frog dept.

Science 66

interval1066 writes "Ars Technica reports that a paper by biologists Catherine E. Newmana, Jeremy A. Feinbergb, Leslie J. Risslerc, Joanna Burgerb, and H. Bradley Shaffer, in Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution (abstract of paywalled article), describes a new subspecies of leopard frog has been found living exclusively in New York City. The researchers describe in the paper that the new frog has a distinctive croak, quite different from the two existing species of leopard frogs on the East Coast. The new frog is also stand-offish and tends to impotently honk its horn when stuck in traffic."

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Okay (5, Funny)

sociocapitalist (2471722) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363245)

Yes yes but how does it taste?

Re:Okay (1)

MrNook (2554202) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363295)

More importantly, what will happen if I lick it?

Re:Okay (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39363621)

You write a summary like this. The toxin surely kicked in around the last sentence.

Re:Okay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39363305)

A bit crunchy.

But wait a minute! (1)

Niscenus (267969) | more than 2 years ago | (#39369827)

I thought that was an almond whirl!?

Re:Okay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39363705)

That's not important!
 
....can we somehow make it run Linux?

Re:Okay (2)

AntEater (16627) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363709)

Like chicken. What else?

Bwastun frawg? (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39364239)

The researchers describe in the paper that the new frog has a distinctive croak, quite different from the two existing species of leopard frogs on the East Coast.

Does it say "cruak" instead of "croak?" Perhaps the species originated elsewhere in New York...

Re:Okay (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 2 years ago | (#39364805)

Yes yes but how does it taste?

No, does it have good taste?

Re:Okay (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | more than 2 years ago | (#39365979)

Yes yes but how does it taste?

With its tongue and nose, of course.

Re:Okay (1)

McGruber (1417641) | more than 2 years ago | (#39366395)

Yes yes but how does it taste?

like Kermit

Re:Okay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39368873)

From Mrs Piggy's point of view?

Nathan

Re:Okay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39367833)

Like chicken ...

protect it quickly! (2)

nefus (952656) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363257)

We're better tear down a few buildings to protect it's habitat! This is important!

Re:protect it quickly! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39363383)

It lives in buildings, you insensitive clod!

Re:protect it quickly! (2)

ddifethwr (917185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39366081)

I bet they brag to other frogs how great their habitat is.

TMNF? (4, Funny)

Chas (5144) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363271)

So do they live in sewers and learn ninjitsu from rats?

Oh wait. Wrong amphibians...

Re:TMNF? (1)

michelcolman (1208008) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363307)

Yes, it's a crossover. One of the TMNTs thought he could turn a frog into a princess by... well, the rest is history.

Re:TMNF? (3, Informative)

ahotiK (2426590) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363319)

Just for the record, turtles are reptiles. ;)

Re:TMNF? (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363643)

You beat me to it. Though, to play Devil's Advocate, in the TV show they were referred to as amphibians more than once. Perhaps in a universe in which toxic waste can turn animals into sentient English-speaking (sort of) bipedal martial artists, turtles have a different evolutionary heritage.

Re:TMNF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39364043)

Also writers usually know jack about science. Al lot of people think "amphibian" means "something that lives both on land and in water", which many turtles do.

Re:TMNF? (2)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 2 years ago | (#39364249)

It does mean that. It also is a class of vertebrates. Both definitions are correct according to the dictionary. Further, the word amphibian can also refer to an amphibious vehicle. In other words, in a science context, the term is very narrow, but in general usage, it is not.

Re:TMNF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39369381)

i.e. turtles are amphibious reptiles of the class Reptilia, whereas frogs are amphibians of the class Amphibia.

Re:TMNF? (1)

eternaldoctorwho (2563923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363995)

Believe it or not, in the original TV show, there were actually frog "cousins" [wikia.com] of the Turtles. Though I don't think they ever caught on...

Re:TMNF? (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 2 years ago | (#39365033)

Believe it or not, in the original TV show, there were actually frog "cousins" [wikia.com] of the Turtles. Though I don't think they ever caught on...

Its hard to make a plot about a frog on a fencepost.

It's Croak (2, Funny)

RivenAleem (1590553) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363287)

Sounds a bit like it's saying "It's not easy being green"

Re:It's Croak (2, Funny)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363457)

And here I was thinking it sounded like "Fuggedaboudit" instead of "ribbit".

Big deal. (0)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363289)

So they've rediscovered the French population and its descendants.

Re:Big deal. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39363317)

The French population and its descendants? So there are actual centuries-old French settlers still living in New York?

The ones in the cars (4, Funny)

mdsolar (1045926) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363337)

Are from Long Island.

Re:The ones in the cars (2)

mooingyak (720677) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363455)

Or Jersey.

The NYC frogs just tend to jaywalk at every available opportunity.

Re:The ones in the cars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39363759)

And the pretentious ones from Manhattan.

Wow! (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363367)

I'm not sure which I find more surprising. Just how little we seem to know about the planet we live on. Or that we humans are so unobservant that a new species can be found in a city that is a almost 400 years old and none of the 8+ million people noticed this frog until now.

Re:Wow! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39363441)

It could be that 7 million of them did notice it but none of them knew enough about frogs to know it was an unknown species.

Re:Wow! (2)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363443)

You obviously haven't been to New York or you would know a true New Yorker doesn't notice anything as they whip by at 40 mph. The only thing that slightly slows a New Yorker is the crowd of tourists waiting on the corner to cross.

Re:Wow! (4, Informative)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363845)

The only whipping by a New Yorker can do at 40MPH is in a taxi - not too many with cars, you know. You are thinking of the bridge and tunnel crew.

Though it is true that only tourists wait on the corners - the rest of us jaywalk or cross as soon as it is "clear".

These frogs - I have no idea where they live. Wildlife is so scarce that we notice ants. The only things that you see on Manhattan are pigeons, rats, mice, and hawks. I don't think I was ever bitten by a mosquito, though we do have bedbugs now. And roaches - god are there roaches. You only need one nasty neighbor to harbor those things and the whole building gets infested. Yay for poison. Central park has a few songbirds, but mostly starlings and sparrows - Brooklyn has geese in Prospect Park. You see seagulls and stuff in the shore areas or wherever there is garbage (ahem, Staten Island, ahem). I see people fishing (!!!) occasionally, which is just nuts. This frog was found in the Bronx, Staten Island, and in New Jersey - with the population centered around Yankee Stadium (!!!) so Manhattan isn't really relevant anyway.

Actually, I should stop saying "we" since I don't live there anymore.

Re:Wow! (1)

mooingyak (720677) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363473)

My first thought was "How did anyone manage to visit such a remote location to study it?"

Re:Wow! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39363477)

It's not that surprising. How many of the 8+ million would recognize a slightly different frog if they saw it in the street? I'm sure plenty of people noticed it, just didn't realize what they were looking at.

Re:Wow! (1)

MisterMidi (1119653) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363589)

Well, at least now we know where all the stories about gators in the sewers came from.

Re:Wow! (1)

qamerr (1618331) | more than 2 years ago | (#39368485)

I read this in the New York Times yesterday, and apparently they look just like the existing leopard frogs and the experts can't necessarily distinguish the new species by eye.

From the NYT:
Local amphibian fans can be forgiven for not noticing the new frog's unique nature. "I wouldn't know which one I was holding because they all look so similar," said Ms. Newman, who is now pursuing her Ph.D. at Louisiana State University. "But all of our results showed this one's lineage is very clearly genetically distinct."

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/14/nyregion/new-leopard-frog-species-is-discovered-in-nyc.htm [nytimes.com]

Wut (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39363377)

"The new frog is also stand-offish and tends to impotently honk its horn when stuck in traffic."

Are they sure its a frog?

Re:Wut (1)

Larryish (1215510) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363429)

The French are mutating?!

OMG! WTF!

What is it's croak? (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363461)

"Hey, I am hopping here!"? Then it croaks as it is flattened under a taxi?

Swims in the river and sings "it ain't easy glowing green?"

The frogs this side of the pond are NOT... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39363543)

...a StandOfFish but they share the fragrance and drive really badly around the Arc de Triomphe instead ;-)

New species... (1)

moondo (177508) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363573)

Is it the Green Folium Signum? I need a Signum for my gems!

Aww, crap! (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363579)

It's April already. I missed half of March again.

I hate that.

Alternative explanations? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39363795)

What if this frog species was transported to NYC not long ago, e.g. via ship or created by breeding a local species with a new arrivor?

Upon further examination ... (2)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363885)

... it turns out that these are just Québécois on vacation.

A truly ribbeting story (4, Funny)

wiredog (43288) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363901)

Everyone should hop on over and read it.

Re:A truly ribbeting story (0)

RivenAleem (1590553) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363959)

*tumbleweed*
*crickets*
*honking*

All Hail Hypnotoad! (2)

EliSowash (2532508) | more than 2 years ago | (#39364307)

er..ah..Hypnofrog. Doesn't have the same ring.

Will it get me high? (1)

CosaNostra Pizza Inc (1299163) | more than 2 years ago | (#39364525)

Yes, but does it give me a good high compared to other species of frogs I can lick?

IANAB - I am not a biologist (4, Interesting)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 2 years ago | (#39364605)

I'm no biologist, but isn't this almost statistically certain to be happening all over?

I recall that in the London subway, evolutionary variation into distinct species was observed in insects (?) in different tube lines.

Hell, my house is over 100 yrs old, and I suspect that we probably have at least 3 identifiable strains of otherwise-common animals:
- house spiders: the ones on the living levels of the house are much more spindly, with darker colors that match our woodwork more closely. They are much calmer, staying still when disturbed. Their webs tend to be very fine and delicate.
- basement spiders: our cellar hosts a healthy population of spiders, roughly similar in form to the house spiders, but much paler, more aggressive, weaving thicker webs.
- houseflies: in our attic (not finished until we moved in, in 1992) there is a particularly massive type of housefly. Not a bottlefly, it is as far as I can see simply a gigantic version of a typical housefly, roughly 2x the size in each dimension (ie about the size of a large bluebottle fly). It's our speculation that they are seriously inbred and stupid - they are very slow-reacting, flying slow in straight lines, our dog bites them out of the air....and he's not too quick either. In fact, last summer we noticed one of these flies was killed by a closing door.

It's more a matter of at what point a 'drift' in some subgroup is significant enough to say "this is a new species" than "OMG, look, totally new frog here!", no?

Re:IANAB - I am not a biologist (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39365609)

It's our speculation that they are seriously inbred and stupid.

The larger houseflies are the ones that hatched later in the season and are usually only around during the winter.

Re:IANAB - I am not a biologist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39365681)

- house spiders: the ones on the living levels of the house are much more spindly, with darker colors that match our woodwork more closely. They are much calmer, staying still when disturbed. Their webs tend to be very fine and delicate.
- basement spiders: our cellar hosts a healthy population of spiders, roughly similar in form to the house spiders, but much paler, more aggressive, weaving thicker webs.
- houseflies: in our attic (not finished until we moved in, in 1992) there is a particularly massive type of housefly.

I would be terrified to ever stay over at your place... and that's saying something as my brother has a pet tarantula which no longer bothers me (too much).

Re:IANAB - I am not a biologist (1)

aqmxv (1469151) | more than 2 years ago | (#39366011)

Also not a biologist, but noticed years ago that field mice in near suburban Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA are coal gray-black all over (good camouflage for hiding in the coal pile historically used as home heating fuel), unlike field mice in rural areas of the state, which are the normal lighter gray with white under. Are they actually a different species? By the reliable interbreeding standard, probably not, but by the distinctive behaviors or markings standard they are. Species with short generational cycles like mice or tropical frogs should show noticeable variation pretty quickly if isolated from the 'parent' population. There's absolutely no reason to believe that this expectation would be any different in a manmade environment versus a natural one.

Re:IANAB - I am not a biologist (1)

Bigby (659157) | more than 2 years ago | (#39367437)

This is why I think the current taxonomy system is outdated. Everything has already evolved, even if a little bit from their parents. It is altogether different.

Re:IANAB - I am not a biologist (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39368401)

IAAB, the point is when they can no longer mate and produce viable offspring.

Yes, but.. (1)

photonyx (2507666) | more than 2 years ago | (#39364757)

Did they check the frog's immigration papers? Does it croak with an accent? Does it object being put through the TSA scanners? Does it use internet cafes and pay with cash only? It might be a terrorist frog!

In New York... (1)

wiedzmin (1269816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39365495)

...even frogs have the accent.

Frogs in New York (1)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 2 years ago | (#39366113)

The French: they're everywhere.

The Wired Article (1)

ChrisMaple (607946) | more than 2 years ago | (#39366515)

There's a group of these frogs in California. Did they get there when the Brooklyn Dodgers moved?

I pulled it out of a torn-down building... (1)

John Bresnahan (638668) | more than 2 years ago | (#39369555)

And it started singing!

Michigan J. Frog [youtube.com]

Was it (1)

JoeCoder7 (989774) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373653)

foul bachelor frog?

They're from Quebec (1)

warren.oates (925589) | more than 2 years ago | (#39375895)

They must have moved down to NYC from Montreal.
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