07 January 2009

Purple, but Ugly

Purple Frog (Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis), Endangered

The first ever video footage of the Purple Frog is now available, thanks to EDGE (Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered).

Those who know me well, know that my favourite colour is purple. But the colour of this frog isn't enough to make me call it beautiful. Or even anything short of hideously ugly. This is one creature that truly deserves its place over at Endangered Ugly Things. The BBC recently said that it "looks more like a squat, grumpy blob than a living creature.”

It was discovered in 2003. It spends most of it's time underground, where it eats termites, and only comes to the surface for a few weeks during the monsoon season, to breed. It belongs to the first new frog family to be discovered since 1926, is thought to belong to an ancient lineage of frogs, placing it at #4 on the list of EDGE Amphibians.

Total population is unknown, though it's thought to be rare, as only 135 individuals have ever been observed. Confined to a few small pockets in India, its minimal habitat is threatened, as forests are cleared to make way for plantations of cardamom, coffee, ginger, and other spices.

You can help by learning more about the Purple Frog, or supporting EDGE in its mission of protecting unique and endangered species.

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