UPI in English  |   UPI Arabic  |   UPI en Español  |   UPIU

New 'flying' frog discovered in Vietnam

Published By United Press International
HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam, Jan. 15 (UPI) -- An Australian biologist has described the discovery of a large green "flying" frog in Vietnam that uses its big webbed feet to glide through forests.

Writing in the Journal of Herpetology, Jodi Rowley, an amphibian biologist at the Australian Museum in Sydney, told how she and other researchers "came across a huge green frog, sitting on a log," not far from the capital, Ho Chi Minh City.

She later determined the 3.5-inch creature is a relatively large new type of flying frog, a group known for its ability to "parachute" from tree to tree thanks to special aerodynamic adaptations such as webbed feet, National Geographic News reported Monday.

The new species is "one of the most flying frogs of the flying frogs," she said, "in that it's got huge hands and feet that are webbed all the way to the toe pad."

"At first it may seem strange that such a fantastic and obvious frog could escape discovery until now -- less than 100 kilometers [60 miles] from an urban center with over nine million people."

Yet because they spend most of their time high up in the forest canopy they can easily escape notice.

Rowley has named the new species Helen's flying frog to honor her mother "who has steadfastly supported her only child trekking through the forests of Southeast Asia in search of frogs."
© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.

Photo Gallery
1 of 1
Tour de France concludes in Paris
Race winner Bradley Wiggins of Great Britain (C) stands between second place finisher Christopher Froome of Great Britain (L) and third place finisher Vincenzo Nibali of Italy on the presentation podium following the final stage of the Tour de France in Paris on July 22, 2012. Wiggins of Great Britain became that country's first ever overall winner of the Tour de France. UPI/David Silpa