Are deformed frogs on the rise?



  1. 0 Votes

    Yes.  There have been many reported cases of deformed frogs in California, which researchers have attributed to a parasitic crustacean called the anchor worm.  The parasite preys on tadpoles and, when they become frogs, they can suffer from missing hind legs or eyes and are smaller and weaker than normal.

    Two causes have been hypothesized for the parasite, and both boil it down to reduced population size of the yellow-legged frog: dam construction has destroyed 54% of the frogs’ habitat, resulting in fewer frogs, and drier weather has dried up many water environments where the tadpoles used to grow.  As a result, the parasite can have a larger impact on the frog population because there are fewer frogs.

    In Minnesota, where frogs were also found with deformities, they have hypothesized that the parasites are a problem and also that a chemical could be responsible.  The chemical is Methoprene, which is used to control mosquito populations by inhibiting their maturation.  In frogs, this could result in missing limbs.

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