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  • Today I'm going to tell you about one of my favorite creatures to ever grace this planet.

  • It's a frog that's pretty bizarre but also weirdly sweet and adorable.

  • Sadly, it went extinct just before I was born, so I thought I'd never get the chance to

  • see it.

  • But a few years ago, scientists tried to bring it back from the dead.

  • I'm Anna and this is Gross Science.

  • Gastric-brooding frogs were first found in Queensland, Australia in 1972.

  • They looked pretty normaljust your average brownish, greenish frog.

  • But there was nothing average about how they gave birth.

  • A female frog would lay her eggs, and a male frog would fertilize them externally.

  • So far so normal.

  • But then, the mother frog would swallow the eggsaround 40 of them!

  • You'd think this would be a terrible idea.

  • After all, stomachswhether they be frog or humanusually contain strong acid to

  • break down your last meal.

  • But the eggs likely contained a chemical that made the mother's stomach stop producing

  • acid.

  • That meant the mother couldn't eat during her pregnancy, which from a human perspective

  • seems awful, but the frogs seemed to make do.

  • Eventually, tadpoles would hatch from the eggs.

  • And the tadpoles would release mucus that contained more of that acid-blocking chemical.

  • The babies would continue to grow in the stomach for another 6 weeks, getting so big that they'd

  • compress the mother's lungs.

  • Luckily, these frogs could also breathe through their skin, so the mothers didn't suffocate.

  • Finally, the tadpoles would metamorphose into baby frogs, and the mother would vomit them

  • upusually one at a time over a few days.

  • Though, when provoked some were known to projectile vomit all their babies out at once.

  • While barfing up your babies's kinda sweet when you think about it.

  • Gastric-brooding, as this strategy is called, is a way to keep your babies close to you

  • and safe while they're most vulnerable.

  • It's really a lot like human pregnancyonly the babies come out the other end

  • Anyway, there were two species of these frogs, but both went extinct by the mid-80s.

  • The culprit was likely an invasive fungusone that poses a major threat to amphibians worldwide,

  • and that humans likely helped to spread around the globe.

  • It's called chytrid fungus and it affects a frog's skin.

  • Because frogs use their skin for crucial functions like breathing, staying hydrated, and regulating

  • their temperature, the parasite can easily kill its victims.

  • And it's highly contagiousby 2013 it had put 42% of the world's frog species

  • in danger.

  • Losing all these frogs would be, in a word, devastating.

  • Not only would it have major impacts on ecosystems worldwide, and be a loss of beautiful biodiversity,

  • but there is so much we still have to learn from these creatures that might be beneficial

  • to human health and well-being.

  • Take the gastric-brooding frog.

  • If we'd had more time to study it, maybe we could have learned more about how it turns

  • off stomach acid production, potentially revealing some insights that could help humans with

  • GI problems.

  • Consequently, back in 2013, some scientists began a project to resurrect the gastric-brooding

  • frog.

  • They took cells from a frozen specimen, cloned the DNA into the egg of another frog species,

  • and ended up creating a living gastric-brooding frog embryo.

  • It only survived for about three days, but they haven't given up trying.

  • And it's made some researchers hopeful thatde-extinction”—the process of bringing

  • extinct species back to lifewill one day be a solution for reviving at least some of

  • the valuable biodiversity we've lost, often due to humans' impact on the environment.

  • Obviously, this is a controversial idea.

  • And, I think most scientists would agree that de-extinction is a last-gasp effort in conservation.

  • It in no way means we should stop protecting and preserving the at-risk species we have.

  • That said, while I can't speak to the ethics of the situation, I will admit that there's

  • a pretty big part of me that would love to see a gastric-brooding frog vomiting up its

  • babies.

  • Ew.

Today I'm going to tell you about one of my favorite creatures to ever grace this planet.


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B1 中級

赤ちゃんを吠えるカエルを満たす (Meet The Frog That Barfs Up Its Babies)

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    薛明璟 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日