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back to article Scientists snap amazing technicolour dreamtoad

Determined Malaysian scientists have pulled off a bit of a blinder in the search for lost amphibians, by getting the first snaps of the elusive Borneo rainbow toad. Ansonia latidisca was last seen in 1924 by European explorers, and was until now recorded only in sketch form. Responding to an Conservation International call to …

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So let me get this right ...

A full 20% of the top ten so-called "lost" amphibians aren't actually lost?

Things that make you go "hmmmm ..."

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Worse

If you read up on evolutionary history, basically everything dies off quite regularly (as in 40-50% of species just disappear) and what doesn't die off evolves into different species to fill the gaps (it's believed that a lot of the "this species is critical to this environment's survival" assertions are a load of crap). The world copes and moves on without that ultra-rare toad which probably hasn't made any contribution to the local environment since it had a population of more than 100,000.

Think about it - if it was endangered or rare, and nobody really noticed apart from the scientists looking for that exact species - how large exactly was the part it played in the local ecology?

The biggest "problem" with species dying off is that they may have stuff we could use, e.g. if certain species of animals die off or kill off some associated plantlife (because it's not longer fertilising it), etc. then we may not find things that plant/animal life can do - e.g. produce human-painkillers, help us locate the DNA segment for property X, let us find missing links between species etc.

Species are created, evolve and die every single day, globally. Unless you can prove that one has a dramatic effect on the local environment or something to really show science, there's little reason to go to special efforts to keep it (artificially, in captivity, in man-made environments, etc.). Do we moan the millions of subspecies of cow that haven't been chosen for breeding because they don't produce a lot of milk or make manky-tasting beef? Not really. But apparently a frog that nobody's seen in decades is "important". Personally, I think you'd have been better off just leaving it alone rather than acclimatising it to human contact which is likely to end up killing it (either because it gets too friendly and runs across a road, or because it catches something from us, or because it starts to feed from human waste and thus becomes a dependent pest).

Every single time humans interfere with species distribution and movement (e.g. introducing cane toads to Australia) we make things worse even if we're supposed to have thought everything through. Now most of the pandas in the world are in zoos - an environment that they are notoriously inept at breeding in, for instance.

Leave the fecking things alone and stop going looking for them. By the time you realise there's only a handful left, they aren't important to the local ecology any more and just become an administrative and financial burden for zero practical gain except for some PETA nuts to go "Aw, we saved him!" until the animals die in captivity.

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Sorry mate, but

You are clueless. That is the worst attempt at providing a snapshot of "biological science" I've seen on many many stupid message boards, including this one. Hopeless.

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Pint

But It Is...

...that very fragility that makes amphibians the "mine canary" of ecosystems.

We have no way of knowing what traits,chemicals, abilities. etc. are coded in the DNA of any living thing, nor how important these codes will be to us in the future.

From a personal standpoint, I very much enjoyed a photograph of the most amazing camouflage that i have seen; this animal WANTS to be lost.

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Leave them alone...

As I recall, a few years ago everyone was worried about the inexplicable loos of amphibian, and were blaming pollution, climate change and habitat loss. Then they discovered the fungus. By which time I'm sure eager researchers have managed to spread it into many areas it would never have got to.

Lets hope the people that have been looking for this toad didn't take the amphibian killing fungus with them on their boots. It's probably the fact that it's been 'lost' that's been keeping it alive in the first place.

Sometimes less is more.

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"Do we moan..."

"...the millions of subspecies of cow that haven't been chosen for breeding because they don't produce a lot of milk or make manky-tasting beef? Not really."

Yes we do. All in good(?) time. You just wait and see.

Ditto for other old domestic varieties (pigs, cereals, fruit...)

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Anonymous Coward

@Lee Dowling

The world copes and moves on without that ultra-rare "Lee Dowling" which probably hasn't made any contribution to the local environment. Dowlings are created, evolve and die every single day, globally. Unless you can prove that one has a dramatic effect on the local environment or something to really show science, there's little reason to go to special efforts to keep one (artificially, in captivity, in man-made environments, etc.). Leave the fecking things alone and stop going looking for them. By the time you realise there's only a handful left, they aren't important to the local ecology any more and just become an administrative and financial burden for zero practical gain.

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Alien

Mr.

Let them loose in Australia. Within 20 years they will have become a plague.

(Icon = alien species)

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Happy

far out, man

Groovy colors...

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Stop

Perhaps they are cleverer then we think...

Perhaps all these "previously thought extinct" species foresaw well in advance the oncoming cataclysm of industrial age man and just decided to hide for a few hundred years until it all passes by...

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Coat

technicolour

No mention of whether they licked it or not...

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Angel

ALL HAIL THE HYPNOTOAD!

See title

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WTF?

Hypnotoad? what the f... ALL HAIL THE HYPNOTOAD

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Happy

Tripping!!

Holy mother of all that's psychedelic!

Did they lick that toad before taking that pic?

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Trollface

Mmmmmmmmmmmm

bet it tastes like rainbow chicken

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Hallucinatory

I believe some people lick toads to get a buzz. That thing looks like it would give you a three day trip!

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Aceeeeeeed

Cor, now I can stop licking toads to see all the colours!

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Alien

Toad licking

Considering all the toad licking comments, I'm beginning to see another reason why Amphibians are in danger.

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It's a curious quantity of lickers indeed.

Halitosis would be the danger?

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Why

What's the point? What have we gained by "discovering" this "lost" species? Presumably the toad knew where it was and that's what's important. Unless it is really tasty and nutritional leave the damn thing alone and concentrate on some of the real problems.

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Becuase

We now have a nice colour photo of the beast and know that it is still alive and hopping.

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Go

Wasn't there a...

South Park episode about the creature? :-o

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Pirate

That was the Mexican Staring Frog...

of Southern Sri Lanka.

*Very* dangerous. I heard that someone posted a picture of it on Facebook, and anyone who checks the status of that account passes out for three hours. True story.

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Thumb Up

Ignore all the boorish "so whatters"

That is a truly magnificent animal. I'm glad it's not extinct.

(and as an Arts graduate may I add that I'm truly appalled by the level of scientific ignorance displated by some of the commentards here?)

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Coat

Weren't these used to produce dried frog pills?

You know, the ones that in the right dose make mad people hallucinate they are sane?

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Doomed I tell ye.

Pandas.

Even if there are no humans it is likely Doomed.

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Lost?

Or well camouflaged in an environment where there aren't many biologists catalogueing things?

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Boffin

Seek and ye shall find..

If your out there lookign for ants or hummingbirds its just another frog.. now if you are looking for a toad, you might find it.. now did you see the beetle it just ate? that was rare!

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Coat

Ummm...

Its an even rarer beetle now.... there is one less of them!

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J 3
Alert

Scientists snap?

What? What rag am I reading? At El Reg they'd have gone with "boffins snap" for that headline!

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Angel

Proof of God's Existance

This toad could not possibly have evolved by natural selection.

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Alien

Drugs are bad

Mmkay?

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What are you talking about?

What's this "hynotoad" thing you talking abo.... ALL HAIL THE HYPNOTOAD

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Bah

Old and boring meme is ol-ALL HAIL THE HYPNOTOAD

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Happy

iwoot

Quite possibly the most awesome creature I've seen (excluding those that wear bikinis).

I'd have one as a pet, but we have laws against that sort of thing.

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My camera did this too

After a bad fall, the CCD must have been damaged and the colours all came out weird.

Maybe the scientist can send the camera back under warrantee and just pretend he has been treating it properly.

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