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Researchers dug up a new-to-science species of burrowing frog in the Peruvian Amazon that resembles chocolate. The frog has been nicknamed the tapir frog for its distinctive-looking snout. Herpetologists used the frog’s call to locate and dig up three individual frogs. DNA analyses confirmed that, although the species was known to locals, it had not yet been described by science.
The team found the small frogs in one of the rarest habitats in the Amazon rainforest, the Amazon peatlands. A past study found that peatlands in the Peruvian Amazon store 10 times the amount of carbon as nearby undisturbed rainforest. The discovery was made during a rapid inventory of the Lower Putumayo Basin. A conservation area is proposed for the region and researchers say the tapir frog is yet another reason to conserve this peatland and the surrounding area.