A frog from Coppename, Suriname.
A group of cold-blooded vertebrates that includes frogs, salamanders and caecilians (wormlike amphibians). They do not possess any scales, feathers, or hair and will often have moist permeable skin making them susceptible to environmental changes; because of this they are considered indicators of ecosystem health.
Many species of amphibians can survive both on land and in the water, which is where most lay their eggs. Their larvae go through a developmental process known as metamorphosis, which may be quite complex. As they mature to adulthood they will often move to land. Scientists believe that proto-amphibians were the first vertebrate animals to leave water and become terrestrial.
Amphibians are a natural source of medicine for humans, and play an important role linking terrestrial and aquatic food webs, and transporting nutrients between the two. They are a food source for larger animals, but they themselves control pests, including insects known as vectors of several human diseases. Thanks to their sensitivity to environmental changes amphibians also act as an early warning system of ecosystem health.
Meet some of the amphibians that we – and our partners – have discovered recently.
The smallest frog in the Old World (Asia, Africa and Europe) and one of the world's tiniest, this species was discovered inside and around pitcher plants in the heath forests of Borneo.
This is a large and spectacular frog and was discovered next to a clear running mountain river.
Frogs from this group can be extremely variable in their appearance, and the sound of their call is one of the best ways both to distinguish among the species.
This tiny species with a sharp chirping call is known only from limestone hills, where it was first found.
This amphibian discovery was made during 2005’s RAP expedition to the Kaijende Highlands of the Enga Province in Papua New Guinea.