Biologists track down elusive lungless frog
Backwards evolution in Borneo
Scientists from the National University of Singapore have described a rare lungless frog which appears to absorb oxygen through its skin.
The university's team, led by evolutionary biologist David Bickford, spent two weeks scouring the remote Kalimantan region of Indonesian Borneo to find examples of Barbourula kalimantanensis, which was first identified 30 years ago.
The researchers report in Current Biology: "In August 2007, we visited Western Kalimantan but found that illegal gold mining had destroyed all suitable habitats in the vicinity. The originally cool, clear, fast-flowing rivers are now warm and turbid. Water quality around the locality is no longer suitable for the species, but we were able to re-discover two new populations upstream."
The university's website elaborates: "The frog lives in cold water which has higher oxygen content than warm water. The team surmises that the frog has a low metabolic rate and hence needs less oxygen anyway. It is also severely flat compared to other frogs and this would increase the surface area of the skin, allowing it to take in oxygen more efficiently.
"Having lungs also means being more buoyant and hence, more easily swept away by fast-flowing waters. Thus the loss of lungs as an adaptation to living in very fast-flowing streams seems to be a rational hypothesis as well."
Barbourula kalimantanensis is a strange critter indeed, and the team notes that "the evolution of lunglessness in four-limbed amphibians is exceedingly rare, and known in "only in two families of salamanders, and a single species of caecilian, a species of earthworm-like amphibian".
The scientists conclude: "The discovery of lunglessness in a secretive Bornean frog supports the idea that lungs are a malleable trait in the Amphibia, the sister group of all living tetrapods. Amphibians may be more prone to lunglessness since they readily utilize other methods for gas exchange."
Barbourula kalimantanensis is, inevitably, at risk from the destruction of its habitat. Bickford called for protection of this "evolutionary enigma" and he and his team will now move to "better understand the extinction risk of the species, to map its exact geographic range and to make a more complete assessment of potential habitats". ®
Errm - evolution is not random chance. As in 'not'. That is quite well understood by anyone who gives a microsecond's thought to the matter.
As for being a 'religion', I'll let you know when I kneel down and pray for forgiveness to evolution.
Other than that, funny; very funny.
Paris - cos the amount of plastic and rubber must mean she's evolving into a higher life form
so bogsheet, by your arguments, evolution is a proven fact, (and what was the name of the scientific study that proved it?) I believe in "completely foundless non-scientific fairy-tales" because I don't use random chance to explain how the universe miraculously appeared from nothing, (I guess Einstein and Newton were idiots huh, and definitely not scientists) Genesis was written 2000 years ago, (maybe 4000 is closer but who's counting right?), and ancient people were imbeciles because they did not have the glorious gift of science. (So science is a recent invention? You are such a genius! Why didn't I see it before! Um wait, science has been around since the first person asked "why", never mind. Oh, and you also said...
"For people nowadays there is no such excuse."
But check this out...
"For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from WHAT HAS BEEN MADE, so that men are without excuse." Romans 1:20 (emphasis mine)
You can call me unscientific all you want but some of the greatest scientific minds of all time believed in God the creator. In fact, they felt that science explained how God operated in the natural world. It is only recently that the high priests of evolution have tried to squash all opposing views and declare that anything other than a completely natural explanation means that you are in no way scientific.
I don't subscribe to your religion.
Well leaving aside the inevitable arguments, I'd just like to know the rationale behing the statement "Unless you have not noticed a loss of genetic information works against the idea of evolution".
I mean, the length of DNA and number of chromosomes varies from species to species, and I'm not sure there's a _required_ correlation between this and 'forward' (in the sense of time) evolution. Surely that's only true if you assume that the 'purpose' of evolution is to accumulate data. But does evolution have a purpose? I think not.