Bacteria may help frogs attract mates

ScienceDaily | 3/14/2019 | Staff
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"Frogs emit a pungent odor. Sometimes a particular species can be recognized by its scent, but until now, the function of this odor was unknown. It was typically assumed to be an aposematic smell, meaning a chemical warning sign that served to repel predators, as in the case of skunks [Mephitis mephitis] among mammals, for example," said Célio Haddad, a professor at São Paulo State University's Rio Claro Bioscience Institute (IBRC-UNESP) in Brazil and a coauthor of the article.

According to Haddad, who is also affiliated with the university's Aquaculture Center (CAUNESP) in Jaboticabal, this hypothesis was considered plausible because many amphibian species, especially when poisonous, are brightly colored, and this serves as a visual alert to frighten predators. "We thought odor might play a similar role among anurans [frogs and toads]," he said.

Study - Research - Argentinean - Biologist - Andrés

The new study resulted from the postdoctoral research of Argentinean biologist Andrés Eduardo Brunetti, supervised by Professor Norberto Peporine Lopes. Conducted at the University of São Paulo's Ribeirão Preto School of Pharmaceutical Sciences (FCFRP-USP), the research was supported by FAPESP.

"The importance and originality of Brunetti's research is that for the first time it shows a pronounced difference in the odors emitted by frogs of opposite sexes," Haddad said. "No other studies of anurans have ever described this type of behavior. The results suggest that the odor serves to permit mutual recognition between males and females of the same species for mating purposes."

Research - FAPESP - Research - Program - Biodiversity

The research was also supported by the FAPESP Research Program on Biodiversity Characterization, Conservation, Restoration and Sustainable Use (BIOTA-FAPESP) and by the University of São Paulo (USP), the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) and Brazil's Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES).

"In anurans, you often see different species sharing a lake or marsh. In such places, there are 30 male frogs for...
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