September 22nd, 2010
09:53 AM ET

Scientists discover amphibian species thought to be extinct

The Omaniundu reed frog hadn’t been observed since 1979

Three species of amphibians thought to be extinct for decades have been rediscovered, scientists announced Wednesday.

The three are the cave splayfoot salamander from Mexico, the Mount Nimba reed frog from the Ivory Coast and the Omaniundu reed frog from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The three were found as part of an effort by Conservation International and the Amphibious Specialty Group of the International Union for Conservation of Nature to determine if 100 “lost” amphibian species are really extinct.

"These are fantastic finds and could have important implications for people as well as for amphibians,” said Robin Moore, who organized the Search for the Lost Frogs, the official name of the campaign. The creatures could help in medical research or just in protecting water resources, Moore said.

Several specimens of the salamander, of which only a lone individual was identified in 1941, were found in a system of caves accessible only by a pothole in Mexico’s Hidalgo province, Conservation International said.

The Mount Nimba reed frog, found by a local scientist in a swampy field near Ivory Coast’s border with Liberia, hadn’t been seen since 1967.

The Omaniundu reed frog hadn’t been observed since 1979. It was spotted in a flooded forest next to a Congo River tributary.

The first phase of the lost frogs project continues until next month when the Convention on Biological Diversity opens in Japan. Scientists hope they’ll have more successes to announce then, but Moore said it’s a tall task.

“These rediscovered animals are the lucky ones – many other species we have been looking for have probably gone for good," he said.

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soundoff (133 Responses)
  1. richard

    but maybe the frog is. They will have a"耳塞"and some clean food

    I'm a Chinese.我是一个中国人

    September 23, 2010 at 6:10 am | Report abuse |
  2. burroughs

    Wilson, my criticism was not levelled at people like you who have MA degrees. I just get aggravated by those who do not have the faculty to think, who do not read, who do not care about anything except doing some sloppy obscure job so that they might make some money. These same people, however, often get insolent enough to call great minds stupid. As far as uselessness is concerned, science should not be solely utilitarian, it is not necessary to put it to good use – it is beautiful even when it exists for its own sake. The beauty of science lies in the genii of those who make it. It does not take a scientific genius to be useful to a community so this cannot be a criterion for superiority. I think you overlook all this. I mean that a myriad of weird contraptions have been invented and have fallen into disuse since the moment of their invention. That is because they are useless indeed but this does not mean that no ingenuity and smart ideas have been put into them. Obviously our philosophic understanding of what science should be are totally different.

    September 23, 2010 at 6:19 am | Report abuse |
  3. EdBellmcse

    Honstly, if I would have found it in my yard...I would have thrown it in our stock pond to feed the fish.

    September 23, 2010 at 6:25 am | Report abuse |
  4. Elaine Connelly

    I think this happens more often than not. Scientists go off the deep end quite easily, declaring this species is extinct, it hasn't been seen in.... years. Well, maybe that's because no one has really looked where it was last spotted. The only creature on this earth who will eventually become extinct is humans. We elected a moron to the highest public office in the country. CAN ANYONE SAY "IDIOCRACY". SEE THE FILM, IT WILL GIVE YOU A CLUE.

    September 23, 2010 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
    • punkrscrnd

      the movie "Idiocracy" is great, but I don't think you remember it correctly. Yes, in the movie they elected someone "stupid" to run the government, but the entire population was stupid. It has nothing to do with the extinction of the human population, but that the "smart" people are bred out of existence....maybe you should rewatch the movie. 🙂

      September 24, 2010 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • God

      "The only creature on this earth who will eventually become extinct is humans"
      No way, my dear. I have a lot riding on you folks. Not gonna happen. I may move a bunch of you to another planet...
      err... that is, you may move some of yourselves to another planet eventually (I am rather proud that you folks
      were able to get that Kepler satellite working) but extinction isn't in the cards. I'm too vain to let an image of myself just die off. Not even Satan, god bless him (he hates it when I say that, heh heh) could manage to make the whole lot of you go extinct. I spent too much time (eons, literally) fooling with those smelly apes to get you all just right. Or at least
      clean enough, and we all know cleanliness is next to godliness.

      September 25, 2010 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  5. hebramleigh

    The assumption seems to be that these amphibians were considered extinct because of the actions of man. If you read the article, only one individual member of the salamander species had ever been discovered (and that was in 1941), and the other two had not been seen for between 30-40 years. These are obviously species that have had extremely small populations for quite a long time and in remote regions. There is no evidence that man has had any affect on their rarity.

    Don't be so quick to blame every extinction on "the stupidity of mankind." Recent research has suggested that even relatively recent ones (wooly mammoths, cave bears, etc) died out because of the animal's inability to adapt to climate change.

    September 23, 2010 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  6. chewie

    Boy I am glad they found those frogs. I hope they get bigger than that because the fried frog legs would be really small. Hopefully with all the money they are spending they can find some giant frogs. UM UM good.

    September 23, 2010 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
  7. leavemebe

    idk if this is posted or not but this is interesting

    September 23, 2010 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Philip Lenos

    This is a sad world. 😦

    September 23, 2010 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gambit

      I agree. It's very depressing to see the moronic mentality of some of the people we live among who also probably have the ability to cast votes. If the rest of us are lucky, they are too stupid to do even do that.

      September 24, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Philip Lenos

    ...and isn't this about scientists finding an extinct frog not a horned toad, or whatever.

    September 23, 2010 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
  10. a slozomby

    i blame global warming.

    September 24, 2010 at 12:15 am | Report abuse |
  11. Phil

    All life on earth is not for the sole benefit of mankind. Twisted egos have listed reasons for why it should be theirs. We are made up of the same basic five compounds that dirt is made up of. Mankind has intruded on the life rights of anything alive to further their own survival. Hopefully we will learn to live in balance with nature, not try to harness and harvest it.

    September 24, 2010 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
  12. Tyokol

    If I found the frog I would have stepped on it.

    September 24, 2010 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
  13. Gazork

    I have come to the conclusion that evolution is fact. Humans have also evolved. I suspect that evolution does not always mean that a specie becomes "better." In fact, I'm wondering if humans are not becoming more stupid. They create for themselves a "better life" & in the process they become more selfish & immature. I also suspect that, in our present time, there are more stupid, emotional & uninformed humans than those who are thoughtful, considerate & informed.

    September 24, 2010 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Gambit

    Hooray for such a wonderful find , long live the frogs and salamanders!!! Reading some of these comments forces me realize why frogs are actually cooler and more worthy of the oxygen they use than some people. Some of you really suck at life.

    September 24, 2010 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  15. austin

    ummm i agree with gambit but thts just me

    September 24, 2010 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
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