Five-legged frogs baffle British

April 4, 2007

Scientists in England are trying to determine why some frogs in a river in Peterborough have five legs, the first known occurrence in Britain.

The discovery was made by naturalist Sharon Harris, who said she also spotted one frog with only three legs, the Peterborough Evening Telegraph reported.

"I was amazed to see them swimming about," Harris said. "They are fully grown, but they've got extra limbs growing out their legs."

She contacted the Natural England environmental agency, and amphibian expert Jim Foster inspected the frogs. He said similar cases had been reported in the United States.

"It's hard to say why it's happened, but scientists in the U.S. say this type of limb deformity is caused by a parasite, which invades the frogspawn and disrupts normal growth patterns," Foster said.

Environment Agency spokesman Mansai Tang had another theory about the three-legged hoppers.

"One of the reasons for the smaller, or missing limbs, could be as a result of the warm temperatures we had this winter, leading to tadpoles hatching early," she said.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Dogonauts and Persian cats: Why send animals into space?

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Ancient genome from Africa sequenced for the first time

October 8, 2015

The first ancient human genome from Africa to be sequenced has revealed that a wave of migration back into Africa from Western Eurasia around 3,000 years ago was up to twice as significant as previously thought, and affected ...

Blue skies, frozen water detected on Pluto

October 8, 2015

Pluto has blue skies and patches of frozen water, according to the latest data out Thursday from NASA's unmanned New Horizons probe, which made a historic flyby of the dwarf planet in July.

New method facilitates research on fuel cell catalysts

October 8, 2015

While the cleaning of car exhausts is among the best known applications of catalytic processes, it is only the tip of the iceberg. Practically the entire chemical industry relies on catalytic reactions. Therefore, catalyst ...

On soft ground? Tread lightly to stay fast

October 8, 2015

These findings, reported today, Friday 9th October, in the journal Bioinspiration & Biomechanics, offer a new insight into how animals respond to different terrain, and how robots can learn from them.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.