Thursday, March 01, 2007

Not with a bang but a whimper

If an entire order of species were undergoing a mass extinction, as the dinosaurs did 65 million years ago, people would notice, right?

Well, it's not exactly burning up the news cycle like the mass extinction of Britney's hair, but hundreds of species of frogs have died out in the past two decades, and most remaining species are currently threatened (see Emerging Infectious Diseases, "Emerging Infectious Diseases and Amphibian Population Declines", and LA Times, "'Amphibian Ark' seen as species' last best hope").

A big culprit seems to be a toxic fungus that spread worldwide after African frogs were exploited for use in pregnancy tests.

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