A Cute New ‘Chocolate Frog’ Species Discovered In A Swamp

By Anthony K

A curious and cute-looking “Chocolate frog” tree frog has been found in New Guinea’s lowland rainforests by a team of Australian scientists. Normally, tree frogs are known to have green skin. However, due to its brown skin, the researchers called it “Chocolate frog,” a name that has struck.

History records that for a considerable part of the Tertiary period, about 2.6 million years ago, new Guinea and Australia were connected. Still, today Northern Australia is dominated by Savannah, while New Guinea is dominated by rainforest. Green tree frogs, scientifically named Litoria caerulea, are found across eastern and northern New Guinea and Australia.

Image courtesy of Inhabitat

 The discovery of this candy-colored creature was published in the Australian Journal of Zoology, and scientists believe that the animal could be prevalent across New Guinea. Steve Richards, a Co-Author of the paper published in the journal, argues that because this new frog lives in swampy and scorching areas that are also crocodile-infested, such harsh conditions could have discouraged the exploration of this creature.

 This new Litoria frog species was named Mira, which is Latin for strange or surprised, as it was a startling discovery to locate an unnoticed relative of Australia’s common and well-known green tree that lives in New Guinea’s lowland forests.

Image courtesy if ABC

The scientists claim that determining the biotic interchange between the two regions is vital in understanding how the savannah and rainforest habitat types have extended and contracted with time. In their study, the scientist suggests that estimates of the new species divergence, indicate that about 5.3 million years ago, there existed a link between the two species across the lowland tropical environments of northern Australia and New Guinea.