Conserving the world's weirdest amphibians

The Zoological Society of London's EDGE program is dedicated to the conservation of Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered animal species that "have few close relatives on the tree of life and are often extremely unusual in the way they look, live and behave, as well as in their genetic make-up." EDGE has just launched a conservation and fundraising initiative focused on amphibians. Here is the list of the first ten amphibians that the group is working to protect:


1) Chinese giant salamander, (salamander that can grow up to 1.8m in length and evolved independently from all other amphibians over one hundred million years before Tyrannosaurus rex) seen here, photo from International Cooperation Network for Giant Salamander Conservation

2) Sagalla caecilian (limbless amphibian with sensory tentacles on the sides of its head)

3) Purple frog (purple-pigmented frog that was only discovered in 2003 because it spends most of the year buried up to 4m underground)

4) Ghost frogs of South Africa (one species is found only in the traditional human burial grounds of Skeleton Gorge in Table Mountain, South Africa)

5) Olm (blind salamander with transparent skin that lives underground, hunts for its prey by smell and electrosensitivity and can survive without food for 10 years)

6) Lungless salamanders of Mexico (highly endangered salamanders that do not have lungs but instead breathe through their skin and mouth lining)

7) Malagasy rainbow frog (highly-decorated frog that inflates itself when under threat and can climb vertical rock surfaces)

8) Chile Darwin's frog (a frog where fathers protect the young in their mouths, this species has not been officially seen since around 1980 and may now be extinct)

9) Betic midwife toad (toads that evolved from all others over 150million years ago – the males carry the fertilised eggs wrapped around their hind legs)

10) Gardiner's Seychelles frog (perhaps the world's smallest frog, with adults growing up to just 11mm in length – the size of a drawing pin)

Link to Zoological Society page, Link to EDGE program

Previously on BB:
• Campaign to save "world's weirdest creatures" Link