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Tue Mar 24, 2015, 04:27 PM

How cool is this? Frog species that can change shape discovered by local researchers (photos) [View all]


CLEVELAND, Ohio -- A local graduate student and her husband have found a shape-shifting frog in Ecuador that changes its skin texture from spikey to smooth in mere minutes.

It is believed to be the first vertebrate identified that can do that, said Katherine Krynak, who is working toward a PhD in biology at Case Western Reserve University.

The new critter is called Pristimantis mutabilis (mutable rain frog) but Katherine and Tim Krynak call it punk rocker frog because of the spiked texture that it can present.

Tim, a project manager with the Cleveland Metroparks, said they first encountered the marble-sized amphibian in 2006 when they walked the trails of the Andean cloud forest in Ecuador.

"We were trying to document species of amphibians and saw the frog sitting on a moss-covered leaf," Tim said. "We took a photo of the small frog, but it wasn't until the photograph was enlarged on the computer that we could tell this frog was very different."

On a 2009 trip, they found what appeared to be the same species. "Katherine grabbed it and put it in a cup with a lid so we could take a picture later," he said.

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Reply How cool is this? Frog species that can change shape discovered by local researchers (photos) [View all]
WillParkinson Mar 2015 OP
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