The frog with no lungs

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lungless_frog_150

A lungless frog? Sounds like a joke:
I say, I say I say, my frog has no lungs.

How does it breath?

Glad you asked. Read on:
"The first lungless frog has been discovered lurking in the jungles of Borneo.

The enigmatic amphibian, dubbed Barbourula kalimantanensis, apparently gets all the oxygen it needs through its skin.

Scientists first saw one of these frogs 30 years ago, but due to their rarity, just one other specimen had been collected since then and neither had been dissected.

"No one thought to open them up — there was no real reason to believe that they could be lungless," said researcher David Bickford, an evolutionary biologist at the National University of Singapore.

...

The loss of lungs has been known to occur two other times in all the creatures with backbones that have waddled onto land across geologic time. Each time this loss has happened in amphibians — in a species of caecilian, a limbless beast resembling an earthworm, and in many species of salamanders. How and why this change evolved in these animals has been long debated, and the new frog could shed light on this curious phenomenon."

Link - via The Anomalist

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@the robot child: Yes, but not necessarily because of the most obvious seeming answer. While cold water has a higher dissolved oxygen content than warm water, both are still markedly lower than the oxygen content of air. Obviously, the frog has found ways to increase his rate of oxygen uptake (increased surface-to-volume ratio, thinner diffusion barrier, decreased blood flow rate, more capillaries, etc). If you've ever pithed a frog, you know that they live for hours in dry environments, even after their lungs have been disabled. The problem with removing the frog from the damp environment is that the skin is not exclusively a respiration organ. In frogs, water contact is used to maintain ionic concentrations and the resulting gradients, remove metabolic waste products from the body, and perform a variety of other functions. Not that anybody here really cares that much about cutaneous respiration...
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