This is just a quick post to announce that the first lungless frog has been discovered in Indonesia. Lungless salamanders and caecilians are well known, but no other lungless tetrapod has ever been described. Amphibians accomplish a lot of gas exchange over their skin. Being ectothermic, their rate of oxygen consumption is lower than ours, and being small, their surface-to-volume ratio is relatively high. All of those factors, combined with life in cold, fast-flowing streams where the water holds lots of oxygen, makes lunglessness an feasible adaptation. Still, it’s not very often that a species loses an entire major organ… how many vertebrates do you know with no heart or no brain? Okay, other than Dick Cheney and George W. Bush.
It just goes to show how many weird creatures are still out there, unknown to science. Like many amphibians, Barbourula kalimantanensis is threatened by anthropogenic factors, including habitat destruction and climate change. We are destroying things even before we know they exist.
(By the way, people have complained about my obscure titles in the past. Google them, people. It’s not that hard).