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New Frog Species Found In NYC 66

interval1066 writes "Ars Technica reports that a paper by biologists Catherine E. Newmana, Jeremy A. Feinbergb, Leslie J. Risslerc, Joanna Burgerb, and H. Bradley Shaffer, in Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution (abstract of paywalled article), describes a new subspecies of leopard frog has been found living exclusively in New York City. The researchers describe in the paper that the new frog has a distinctive croak, quite different from the two existing species of leopard frogs on the East Coast. The new frog is also stand-offish and tends to impotently honk its horn when stuck in traffic."
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New Frog Species Found In NYC

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  • Okay (Score:5, Funny)

    by sociocapitalist ( 2471722 ) on Thursday March 15, 2012 @09:50AM (#39363245)

    Yes yes but how does it taste?

  • We're better tear down a few buildings to protect it's habitat! This is important!
  • TMNF? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Chas ( 5144 ) on Thursday March 15, 2012 @09:54AM (#39363271) Homepage Journal

    So do they live in sewers and learn ninjitsu from rats?

    Oh wait. Wrong amphibians...

    • Yes, it's a crossover. One of the TMNTs thought he could turn a frog into a princess by... well, the rest is history.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by ahotiK ( 2426590 )
      Just for the record, turtles are reptiles. ;)
      • You beat me to it. Though, to play Devil's Advocate, in the TV show they were referred to as amphibians more than once. Perhaps in a universe in which toxic waste can turn animals into sentient English-speaking (sort of) bipedal martial artists, turtles have a different evolutionary heritage.
  • It's Croak (Score:3, Funny)

    by RivenAleem ( 1590553 ) on Thursday March 15, 2012 @09:56AM (#39363287)

    Sounds a bit like it's saying "It's not easy being green"

  • So they've rediscovered the French population and its descendants.

  • by mdsolar ( 1045926 ) on Thursday March 15, 2012 @10:00AM (#39363337) Homepage Journal
    Are from Long Island.
  • Oh my God! It's happening. The CHUDs are here! http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0087015/ [imdb.com]
  • I'm not sure which I find more surprising. Just how little we seem to know about the planet we live on. Or that we humans are so unobservant that a new species can be found in a city that is a almost 400 years old and none of the 8+ million people noticed this frog until now.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It could be that 7 million of them did notice it but none of them knew enough about frogs to know it was an unknown species.

    • You obviously haven't been to New York or you would know a true New Yorker doesn't notice anything as they whip by at 40 mph. The only thing that slightly slows a New Yorker is the crowd of tourists waiting on the corner to cross.

      • Re:Wow! (Score:5, Informative)

        by MightyYar ( 622222 ) on Thursday March 15, 2012 @10:37AM (#39363845)

        The only whipping by a New Yorker can do at 40MPH is in a taxi - not too many with cars, you know. You are thinking of the bridge and tunnel crew.

        Though it is true that only tourists wait on the corners - the rest of us jaywalk or cross as soon as it is "clear".

        These frogs - I have no idea where they live. Wildlife is so scarce that we notice ants. The only things that you see on Manhattan are pigeons, rats, mice, and hawks. I don't think I was ever bitten by a mosquito, though we do have bedbugs now. And roaches - god are there roaches. You only need one nasty neighbor to harbor those things and the whole building gets infested. Yay for poison. Central park has a few songbirds, but mostly starlings and sparrows - Brooklyn has geese in Prospect Park. You see seagulls and stuff in the shore areas or wherever there is garbage (ahem, Staten Island, ahem). I see people fishing (!!!) occasionally, which is just nuts. This frog was found in the Bronx, Staten Island, and in New Jersey - with the population centered around Yankee Stadium (!!!) so Manhattan isn't really relevant anyway.

        Actually, I should stop saying "we" since I don't live there anymore.

    • My first thought was "How did anyone manage to visit such a remote location to study it?"

    • by Anonymous Coward

      It's not that surprising. How many of the 8+ million would recognize a slightly different frog if they saw it in the street? I'm sure plenty of people noticed it, just didn't realize what they were looking at.

    • by qamerr ( 1618331 )
      I read this in the New York Times yesterday, and apparently they look just like the existing leopard frogs and the experts can't necessarily distinguish the new species by eye.

      From the NYT:
      Local amphibian fans can be forgiven for not noticing the new frog's unique nature. "I wouldn't know which one I was holding because they all look so similar," said Ms. Newman, who is now pursuing her Ph.D. at Louisiana State University. "But all of our results showed this one's lineage is very clearly genetically dist

  • "Hey, I am hopping here!"? Then it croaks as it is flattened under a taxi?

    Swims in the river and sings "it ain't easy glowing green?"

  • Is it the Green Folium Signum? I need a Signum for my gems!

  • It's April already. I missed half of March again.

    I hate that.

  • by PPH ( 736903 ) on Thursday March 15, 2012 @10:39AM (#39363885)

    ... it turns out that these are just Québécois on vacation.

  • by wiredog ( 43288 ) on Thursday March 15, 2012 @10:41AM (#39363901) Journal

    Everyone should hop on over and read it.

  • er..ah..Hypnofrog. Doesn't have the same ring.
  • Yes, but does it give me a good high compared to other species of frogs I can lick?
  • by argStyopa ( 232550 ) on Thursday March 15, 2012 @11:26AM (#39364605) Journal

    I'm no biologist, but isn't this almost statistically certain to be happening all over?

    I recall that in the London subway, evolutionary variation into distinct species was observed in insects (?) in different tube lines.

    Hell, my house is over 100 yrs old, and I suspect that we probably have at least 3 identifiable strains of otherwise-common animals:
    - house spiders: the ones on the living levels of the house are much more spindly, with darker colors that match our woodwork more closely. They are much calmer, staying still when disturbed. Their webs tend to be very fine and delicate.
    - basement spiders: our cellar hosts a healthy population of spiders, roughly similar in form to the house spiders, but much paler, more aggressive, weaving thicker webs.
    - houseflies: in our attic (not finished until we moved in, in 1992) there is a particularly massive type of housefly. Not a bottlefly, it is as far as I can see simply a gigantic version of a typical housefly, roughly 2x the size in each dimension (ie about the size of a large bluebottle fly). It's our speculation that they are seriously inbred and stupid - they are very slow-reacting, flying slow in straight lines, our dog bites them out of the air....and he's not too quick either. In fact, last summer we noticed one of these flies was killed by a closing door.

    It's more a matter of at what point a 'drift' in some subgroup is significant enough to say "this is a new species" than "OMG, look, totally new frog here!", no?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      It's our speculation that they are seriously inbred and stupid.

      The larger houseflies are the ones that hatched later in the season and are usually only around during the winter.

    • by aqmxv ( 1469151 )
      Also not a biologist, but noticed years ago that field mice in near suburban Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA are coal gray-black all over (good camouflage for hiding in the coal pile historically used as home heating fuel), unlike field mice in rural areas of the state, which are the normal lighter gray with white under. Are they actually a different species? By the reliable interbreeding standard, probably not, but by the distinctive behaviors or markings standard they are. Species with short generational
    • by Bigby ( 659157 )

      This is why I think the current taxonomy system is outdated. Everything has already evolved, even if a little bit from their parents. It is altogether different.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      IAAB, the point is when they can no longer mate and produce viable offspring.

  • Did they check the frog's immigration papers? Does it croak with an accent? Does it object being put through the TSA scanners? Does it use internet cafes and pay with cash only? It might be a terrorist frog!
  • ...even frogs have the accent.
  • The French: they're everywhere.

  • There's a group of these frogs in California. Did they get there when the Brooklyn Dodgers moved?
  • They must have moved down to NYC from Montreal.

I THINK MAN INVENTED THE CAR by instinct. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.