A “ghost” frog not seen for 80 years rediscovered in a desert hot spring

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Scientists moved the tiny Little Hall water frog, named after American researcher and collector Frank Gregory Hall who discovered the species in 1935, to a tiny hot spring oasis near Ollagüe in the Atacama Desert. in Chile.

The discovery, scientists told Reuters, sparked a mad race to confirm that the so-called ghost species was indeed the same one Hall discovered decades ago.

“We asked the museum where Hall is located [discovery] is saved …. They sent us photographs of the larvae, photographs, comparisons, drawings ”, explains César Cuevas, researcher at the Catholic University of Temuco.

Zootaxa magazine published the story of the rediscovery this year.

Researchers continue to work to establish the frog’s taxonomic links with other species found in the region to determine how different, and therefore rare, it is, Cuevas said.

Meanwhile, protecting its habitat is essential, he said. Mining, developing tourism, and expanding cities in northern Chile, home to the world’s largest copper industry, all compete for water with the tiny amphibian.

“These animals are strictly aquatic. In just five minutes out of the water, they die, ”Cuevas said, in a call to protect his habitat before it’s too late.

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