A team led by Australian amphibian biologist Jodi Rowley was hiking through the lowland forests of Vietnam in 2009 when they first saw the large frog on a log.
Rowley later discovered that the 3.5-inch-long (9-centimeter-long) creature is a relatively large new type of flying frog, a group known for its ability to "parachute" from tree to tree thanks to special aerodynamic adaptations, such as webbed feet, Rowley said.
Rowley dubbed the new species Helen's flying frog, in honor of her mother, Helen Rowley, "who has steadfastly supported her only child trekking through the forests of Southeast Asia in search of frogs," according to a statement.
The newfound species—there are 80 types of flying frogs—is also "one of the most flying frogs of the flying frogs," Rowley said, "in that it's got huge hands and feet that are webbed all the way to the toepad."
"Females even have flappy skin on their forearms to glide," added Rowley, who has received funding from the National Geographic Committee on Research and Exploration.
The flying frogs aren't seen much because they tend to stay in the forest canopy, but with Ho Chi Minh City only a few miles away and growing, their habitat may soon be threatened. Read more on the new frog at NatGeo News. Link
(Image credit: Jodi Rowley)