Frankixalus' Dark Secret: Newly-Found Tree Frog Eats Unborn Siblings!

  • by: Alan Duke

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Frankixalus might look like a nice frog, but he has a dark side, according to frog researchers who identified this "new rhacophorid genus of tree hole breeding frogs" in northeastern India. When these frogs are mere tadpoles, they eat their mother's eggs before they can develop into their brothers and sisters, a nasty practice scientists call Oophagy.

Is it any wonder why these "enigmatic frogs" have been hiding in water-filled tree holes for millions of years? But they have now been busted by a team of frog experts who published their research in the scientific journal Plos One:

"Our analyses identify a previously overlooked, yet distinct evolutionary lineage of frogs that warrants recognition as a new genus and is here described as Frankixalus gen. nov. This genus, which contains the enigmatic 'Polypedates' jerdonii described by Günther in 1876, forms the sister group of a clade containing Kurixalus, Pseudophilautus, Raorchestes, Mercurana and Beddomixalus. The distinctiveness of this evolutionary lineage is also corroborated by the external morphology of adults and tadpoles, adult osteology, breeding ecology, and life history features."

If you have the stomach for shocking details and long latin words, click here to see the research on Plos One.

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