We all love Kermit the Frog. Yes, he is the favorite Muppet of us all. Kermit was the star and host of The Muppet Show, and he made our childhood so much better. And happier. Don’t forget that.
“Hi-ho, Kermit the Frog here!”
Remember that one?
Well, Kermit is here, and he is definitely going to make your day. This Kermit lives in Costa Rica, and scientists found him recently. Groups have been working for over a century in the Talamasca Mountains. The semi-translucent frog was probably the ultimate discovery. It’s scientific name is Hyalinobatrachium dianae.
The belly of Diane’s Bare-hearted Glass frog is translucent and the frog has white eyes. According to scientists, there are 149 known glass frog species and 14 of them live in Costa Rica.
Glass frogs are common in South and Central America. They are rare and thrive in tree canopies near streams and creeks. The tiny frog descends in the breeding season.
These frogs lack skin pigmentation, and their green shades give them a strong weapon. In this way frogs can hide under the leaves throughout the day.
Dianae is probably the most translucent type, and it looks pretty similar to Kermit The Frog. Just look at those eyes!
Brian Kubicki, Stanley Salazar, and Robert Puschendorf found the frog high up in the mountain, somewhere between 400 m and 800 m. This was the very first frog of this kind in Costa Rica in over four decades.
The translucent frog was named after Brian’s mom, Janet Diana Kubicki, and also honors the Roman goddess of hunt, Diana.
“This is the kind of find we hope will inspire future generations of biologists to keep searching, being curious and exploring,” Dr Puschendorf, from the School of Biological Sciences at Plymouth University said.
“We now have wonderful molecular tools, we can rapidly barcode organisms and identify them, but understanding the biology of a species fundamentally requires like in this case, hard work in the field. Having both those skills in the field and the laboratory, but mostly the passion to discover is what makes biology such an exciting career.”
Dianae is a lot different from other frogs. It’s different in terms of morphology and genetics. The nocturnal frog has long and thin feet. Males use a distinctive noise to attract females. Some describe it as “a long metallic whistle with rapid pulses.”
It’s similar to the call released by insects, and scientists explain that his particular “noise” helped the frog stay hidden for that long. The frogs were found in a remote area in the tropical Caribbean foothills of Costa Rica, and the last discovery took place in 1973.
The group of researchers collected six specimens from the Caribbean foothills. Kubicki and his team explain that a few roads protect the area. In this way humans won’t be able to get any near the frogs.
Biologist Steven Whitfield is a National Geographic grantee and he has been studying frogs in Costa Rica for quite some time. He said that the altitude these glass frogs live at is also good for the deadly chytrid fungus. The fungus attacks amphibian skin and many glass frogs have disappeared from Costa Rica since the 1980s.
Deforestation has also affected the population of glass. “It’s pretty cool to see that they’ve found a new species when there are so many that may have been lost,” Whitfield said.