Meet India’s starry dwarf frog — a species with no close relatives
The new frog represents a new species, genus and potentially even a new family
A tiny new frog species discovered in tropical forests of southwest India has been one of a kind for millions of years.
Palaniswamy Vijayakumar and his colleagues first spotted the new species one night in 2010 while surveying frogs and reptiles roughly 1,300 meters up in India’s Western Ghats mountain range. The frog hardly stood out — its brown back, orange belly and starlike spots acted as camouflage against the dark hues and water droplets on the forest floor. And at only 2 to 2.9 centimeters long, “it can sit on your thumb,” says Vijayakumar
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