Strange New Species Discovered in South America
Scientists Find Previously Unknown Amphibians in Columbia
by Patricia Cazares, age 11
Scientists believe they have discovered as many as ten new species of amphibians in the mountains of Colombia. These previously undiscovered species include three poisonous frogs, three types of transparent-skinned glass frogs, and one salamander species.
These discoveries are considered important because many of the world’s amphibians are threatened with extinction.
Scientists and conservationists consider amphibians to be indicator species. Most amphibians have permeable skin. This means that they are often more vulnerable than other species to changes in the environment.
Exposure to toxic elements can affect amphibians very quickly. When they begin to die off, it is often an indication, or an early warning signal, of climate and environmental changes.
The survival of amphibians might be important to humans down the line. Humans are also considered a species vulnerable to climate and other types of environmental changes.
[Sources: USA Today; Associated Press]