Frogs dubbed “chocolate frogs” because of their skin color quickly became a humorous topic of conversation among the Harry Potter fan community.
And yet there is no connection between the two, the chocolate frog (Litoria mira from its scientific name) is a new species recently discovered in New Guinea, an island in the north of the Australian continent, and which took its name because of its unusual color. If other amphibians also have a similar color, the family to which this one belongs is used to wearing colors closer to green than to chocolate.
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In a context where climate change favors the slaughter of amphibians, this new discovery is providential although it is not uncommon today to discover new species, whether through the exploration of new regions previously inaccessible. or thanks to the little help of fate like this species discovered on the shelves of a museum.
As the study explains, the Litoria mira At first sight strongly resembles the Australian common green tree frog, called Litoria cerulean, except for the colors. However, when scientists looked a little more at the analysis ofe Litoria mira, they noticed many differences : a moderately taller size, relatively short and robust limbs as well as a small purple spot at the edge of the eyes.
If they are not chocolate or magic, they still have a particular interest because their existence, in this precise place of New Guinea, implies that the northern and southern lands were connected 2.6 million years ago. Indeed, as Sciencealert points out, the fact that frogs look alike but have developed each of the characteristics according to their changing habitat proves that the two territories were previously linked and shared the same biotope.
“The divergence estimates of the new species in our study show that in the Pliocene (5.3-2.6 million years ago) there was still connectivity between the two species in tropical lowland habitats. from northern Australia and New GuineaPaul Oliver, one of the study’s authors, told Sci-news.com in a press release from Griffith University.