Scientists Resurrect Bonkers Extinct Frog That Gives Birth Through Its Mouth

by Rebecca on March 17, 2013

in Animals in the News

It’s been gone since 1983, but the Lazarus Project has brought it back to life.

Gastric-Brooding Frog Australian Government Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts

In 1983, the world lost one of its weirdest frogs. The gastric-brooding frog, native to tiny portions of Queensland, Australia, gave birth through its mouth, the only frog to do so (in fact, very few other animals in the entire animal kingdom do this–it’s mostly this frog and a few fish). It succumbed to extinction due to mostly non-human-related causes–parasites, loss of habitat, invasive weeds, a particular kind of fungus. There were two subspecies, the northern and souther gastric-brooding frog, and they both became extinct in the mid-80s sometime.

Except–what if they didn’t?

Taking place at the University of Newcastle, the quest to revive the gastric-brooding frog became known as the Lazarus Project. Using somatic-cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), a method for cloning, the project has achieved the major step forward of creating an early embryo of the extinct frog. Essentially, they found a related frog–the great barred frog, which also lives in Queensland and has cool eye markings, like it’s wearing sunglasses–deactivated its eggs, and replaced them with eggs taken from the extinct frog.

Read more at: http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2013-03/scientists-resurrect-bonkers-extinct-frog-gives-birth-through-its-mouth

 


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