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Glassfrog has nothing to hide


A newly discovered species of Amazonian frog has skin so transparent you can see its heart beating.


The new glassfrog species (Hyalinobatrachium yaku) in life.
The new glassfrog species (Hyalinobatrachium yaku) in life.
Jaime Culebras and Ross Maynard

From above, this tiny green-spotted frog appears quite ordinary. Turn it over to reveal its transparent ventral skin and exposed beating heart, and it emerges as anything but.

A new species of glassfrog inhabiting Amazonian Ecuador has been described in the open access journal ZooKeys by a research team at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador.

While there is an entire group of glassfrogs from the Neotropics – the tropical regions of the Americas – who sport impressive transparent skin and exposed bellies, this new species, Hyalinobatrachium yaku, stands out for the extent of its translucent exterior, stretching right across the abdomen to lay bare the body’s inner workings.

Contrib jess snir.jpg?ixlib=rails 2.1
Jessica Snir is a clinical trial coordinator at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia and Cosmos contributor.
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