Rare treefrog discovered in the Andes of Ecuador

Washington: A new species of treefrog was discovered during a two-week expedition to a remote tabletop mountain at Cordillera del Condor in the eastern Andes.

Alex Achig, one of the field biologists who discovered the new species said that the team had to walk for two days on a steep terrain before they arrived at the dwarf forest and made the discovery.

Notably, the frog has an extraordinary, enlarged claw-like structure located at the base of the thumb.

While its function is unknown, scientists speculate it could be used either as a defence against predators or as a weapon in fights between competing males.

After an analysis of genetic and morphologic data, scientists Santiago R. Ron, Marcel Caminer, Andrea Varela, and Diego Almeida from the Catholic University of Ecuador concluded that the frog represented a previously unknown species. It was recently described in the open-access journal ZooKeys.