Frog without lungs found in Indonesia


An aquatic frog, Barbourula kalimantanensis, is seen in Kalimantan, Indonesia on Aug. 14, 2007.


BANGKOK, Thailand -- A frog has been found in a remote part of Indonesia that has no lungs and breathes through its skin, a discovery that researchers said Thursday could provide insight into what drives evolution in certain species.
The aquatic frog Barbourula kalimantanensis was found in a remote part of Indonesia's Kalimantan province on Borneo island during an expedition in August 2007, said David Bickford, an evolutionary biologist at the National University of Singapore. Bickford was part of the trip and co-authored a paper on the find that appeared in this week's edition of the peer-reviewed journal Current Biology.
Bickford said the species is the first frog known to science without lungs and joins a short list of amphibians with this unusual trait, including a few species of salamanders and a wormlike creature known as a caecilian.
"These are about the most ancient and bizarre frogs you can get on the planet," Bickford said of the brown amphibian with bulging eyes and a tendency to flatten itself as it glides across the water.
"They are like a squished version of Jabba the Hutt," he said, referring to the character from Star Wars. "They are flat and have eyes that float above the water. They have skin flaps coming off their arms and legs."

Quote has been trimmed
fascinating. What a brilliant adaptation.

I read once, in one of Gerald Durrel's books about a "hairy frog" which had adapted to be able to stay underwater indefinitely. It had "hairs" which were actually protrusions of its skin under its arms and legs, which increased the surface area of its skin, allowing it to absorb oxygen more easily through it. All amphibians breathe through their skin a little, but not usually enough to supply their total oxygen demands.
Yeah I found it intersting as well.... I mean I'm sure we'll have a few nut scientists about trying to meddle with our DNA in the future and try to make us the same way.....

... Hmm.... one way of avoiding lung cancer.

Similar Threads

I've got a Frog in my throat
by Blackleaf | Dec 12th, 2006
Crazy Frog - We Are The Champions
by Rohan | May 27th, 2006
Frog Diet
by I think not | Apr 18th, 2006
no new posts