May 29, 2021 - Science

Scientists discover new species: "Chocolate frog"

new species of tree frog
Photo: The Australian Journal of Zoology

Australian scientists discovered a new species of tree frog in a swampy rainforest in New Guinea.

Details: Tree frogs are known for their green skin, but researchers encountered a species that had brown coloring, nicknaming it the "chocolate frog." The team named the species "mira" — which translate to "surprised" in Latin — because they were shocked to discover a relative of the common green tree frog, they told CNN.

  • The scientists suggested that the frog be listed under "Least Concern" since it lives in areas with low human population density. The category, from the International Union for Conservation of Nature, is given to animals that don’t qualify as “threatened.”

What they're saying: "The closest known relative of Litoria mira is the Australian green tree frog. The two species look similar except one is usually green, while the new species usually has a lovely chocolate coloring," Paul Oliver of the Centre for Planetary Health and Food Security and Queensland Museum told CNN.

  • "Because the frog lives in very hot, swampy areas with lots of crocodiles, all these things discourage exploration," said Steve Richards of the South Australian Museum.
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