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This New Frog Species Was Just Discovered in the Philippines

Platymantis navjoti looks like a famous Muppet.
IMAGE CAMERON SILER/UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS
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An international team of researchers has discovered a new species of frog in the Philippines that looks like Kermit the Frog from the Muppet Show. 

Researchers Arvin Cantor Diesmos (National Museum of the Philippines), Neil Aldrin D. Mallari (Center for for Conservation Innovation, Inc.), and Cameron Siler (University of Kansas) published their discovery in the open-source scientific journal, ResearchGate, in August 2020. 

The frog, named Platymantis navjoti, was found in the islands of Leyte and Samar. According to the researchers, the frogs were discovered perched on leaves of saplings, on fronds of rattan palms, on dead leaves that were entangled atop vegetation, or in spaces of curled leaves.

P. navjoti measures up to three centimeters and lays its eggs on the surface of leaves. It is also iridescent, giving it a dazzling glimmer when light hits its body. Among its characteristic markings are irregularly shaped tiny white dots evenly spaced across its body and limbs.

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Frog is an Indicator Species

According to the researchers, the new species of frog is an indicator species. Scientists use indicator species to monitor changes in the environment because they exhibit changes in behavior or have drops in population whenever their environment is polluted. 

In other words, the frog is a highly sensitive creature that reacts to the slightest changes in its environment caused by pollution, deforestation, or climate change.

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With the discovery of P. navjoti, the Philippines now has 32 endemic species of frogs found nowhere else in the world. 

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Mario Alvaro Limos
Features Editor, Esquire Philippines
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