A group of researchers carrying out studies in the Brazilian cloud rainforest have discovered seven small frog species that were to date unknown to mankind. These seven frog species were discovered on seven different mountain ranges in the southeastern part of the country.
Southeastern Brazil is known for being home to cloud rain forests, a forest type boasting unique climatic features. These forests are separated from one another by warmer valleys which isolate mountain peaks.
To date, scientists have discovered a total of 21 different species of Brachycephalus frogs in these separated cloud forests. Discovery of seven more species of frogs has taken that number to 28. All these seven new species were discovered during a five year long expedition across the Brazilian cloud rain forests.
One of the most prominent features of these newly discovered frogs is that each of them is less than 1 cm long; due to their excessively small size, many have already started to categorize them as some of the cutest animals on this planet. The majority of these frogs possess bright hued poisonous skins that keep them protected from predators.
The high altitude rain forests situated near the southern Atlantic coast in Brazil are known for having more species in each square kilometer than even the Amazon. Due to the frogs’ extreme sensitivity to the environment, warmer air of the valley results in formation of a barrier keeping the frogs on the mountains where they gradually turn into separate species.
The most prominent difference between different species of Brachycephalus frogs is their skin color. There may also be difference in other features of the skin, for instance, how rough or bumpy it is. According to researchers, the brighter the skin of a frog is, the greater the concentration of poison (tetrodotoxin) present in it.
Due to the excessive small size of the frogs, the researchers participating in this frog-finding expedition had a tough time locating them in the bushes and leaves. On most occasions they located the frogs following their sound.
Reports suggest that besides these seven new species, scientists have discovered four more species of frogs that were previously unknown to us during the 5 year long expedition. However, they haven’t yet released any details about the features of those species.