in the Western Ghats Mountains of India, ancestors of this squatty frog
walked with dinosaurs. Announced in Nature, this new species has
been dubbed Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis, from the Sanskrit word
for nose (nasika); batrachus, meaning frog; and Sahyadri,
the name for the hills along the western Indian coast that are also called
the Western Ghats. "It is not just a new species," reported Franky Bossuyt,
an evolutionary biologist at the Free University of Brussels in Belgium.
"It represents a deep branch in the evolutionary tree of frogs, and as
such merits the establishment of a new family."
Yes, Virginia, there really is a purple
in October of a new species of frog in a remote corner of mountainous
India flooded the news wires with scientific excitement. But the announcement
of the thought-to-be-extinct, and distinctly purple frog brought smiles
to the faces of myriad TCU-ers, who have long known about the existence
of Purple Frogs. Of course, our brand isn't really a frog, it's a lizard
-- phyronsoma cornutum, to be precise. But still, Horned Frogs everywhere
are to be excused for chuckling. After all, it's fun to discover you are
more "real" than previously believed.