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Leiopelma

Leiopelma

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2023-07-18 Snargl 0 minute 0 second

What is the animal Leiopelma known for?

Leiopelma is a genus of primitive frogs that are endemic to New Zealand.
They belong to the suborder Archaeobatrachia, which means they have some ancient features that are not found in most modern frogs.
For example, they have nine vertebrae instead of eight, and they retain some tail muscles even though they do not have tails as adults.

Leiopelma frogs are small, nocturnal, and mostly terrestrial.
They do not have vocal sacs, so they do not make loud calls like other frogs.
They also do not have a tongue that can shoot out to catch prey, but rather use their body to lunge forward.
When they swim, they use their hind legs alternately, not simultaneously.

Leiopelma frogs have a unique reproductive mode that does not involve a free-living tadpole stage.
They lay their eggs on moist ground, usually under rocks or plants, and guard them until they hatch.
The hatchlings are fully formed miniatures of the adults, but they still need parental care.
In two species, Leiopelma archeyi and L. hamiltoni, the young frogs climb onto the back of their father, who carries them around until they are ready to live independently.

Leiopelma frogs are considered living fossils because they have a very long evolutionary history and have changed little over time.
They are also very rare and endangered, as they face many threats from habitat loss, invasive predators, diseases, and climate change.
There are only four living species of Leiopelma frogs, and three more that are known from fossil remains.

Leiopelma frogs are fascinating animals that represent a unique branch of amphibian diversity.
They are also important indicators of the health of New Zealand's ecosystems, as they are sensitive to environmental changes.
By learning more about them and protecting them from extinction, we can help preserve a part of the world's natural heritage.
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Where does the Leiopelma live?

Leiopelma is a genus of primitive frogs that are native to New Zealand.
There are four extant species of Leiopelma frogs, each with a restricted distribution:
  • Archey's frog (Leiopelma archeyi), which is found only in the Coromandel Peninsula in the North Island.
  • Hamilton's frog (Leiopelma hamiltoni), which is found only on Stephens Island in the Cook Strait.
  • Hochstetter's frog (Leiopelma hochstetteri), which is found in several locations in the North Island, such as the Waitakere Ranges, the Hunua Ranges, the Coromandel Peninsula, Great Barrier Island, and the Bay of Plenty.
  • Maud Island frog (Leiopelma pakeka), which is found only on Maud Island in the Marlborough Sounds.
Leiopelma frogs are nocturnal and terrestrial, living in moist habitats such as forests, streams, and rocky areas.
The eggs are laid on land and guarded by the parents.
Leiopelma frogs are endangered due to habitat loss, predation by introduced mammals, diseases, and climate change.
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