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Indian Scientists Discover 14 New Species Of 'Dancing Frogs'

Update Date: May 08, 2014 05:03 PM EDT
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Scientists have reportedly discovered 14 new species of so-called 'dancing frogs' in southern Indian forests. These frogs are so named because of the unusual kicks males make in breeding season. 

Scientists warned that 80 percent of these newly discovered frogs live outside the protected areas and that their habitats are being depleted. 

"It's quite an unexpected discovery of a large number of species," lead scientist Sathyabhama Das Biju told the BBC.

"The uniqueness of these new species is what we can scientifically call 'foot flagging' behaviour to attract the female at the time of thee breeding season," he said.

'Dancing frogs' breed after the yearly monsoon in fast-rushing streams but their habitat appeared getting increasingly drier, researchers said. 

"It's like a Hollywood movie, both joyful and sad. On the one hand, we have brought these beautiful frogs into public knowledge. But about 80 percent are outside protected areas, and in some places, it was as if nature itself was crying," added Biju.

These dancing frogs also use those leg extensions to smack away other males. The feature is sort of important for them considering the sex for the amphibians which is usually around 100 males to one female.

"They need to perform and prove, 'Hey, I'm the best man for you,'" said Biju, a botanist-turned-herpetologist now celebrated as India's "Frogman" for discovering dozens of new species in his four-decade career, according to ABC News.

The study listing the new species has been published in the Ceylon Journal of Science.

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