Ahimsa’s elephant dung-dwelling frogs

Surprising discovery: dung-dwelling frogs,” by Kerensa McElroy. Cosmos Online, 26 June 2009.

Some frogs take refuge from the heat by living in the moist droppings of the Asian elephant during the dry season in Sri Lanka.

The frogs may be seeking out the piles of droppings because it provides a moist environment in otherwise dry environment, scientists suggest, since their typical leaf-litter habitat is scarce in such an environment.

‘The findings, recently reported in the journal Biotropica, highlights how important Asian elephants are to the ecosystem as ‘ecosystem engineers’, though their numbers are in decline.’

“Asian elephants are currently endangered and rapidly declining. When we lose them, we lose not only these majestic animals, but also many other organisms” says Ahisma Campos-Arceiz from the National University of Singapore, who discovered the frogs in their bizarre habitat.

More at Cosmos Magazine online.

See Ahimsa’s abstract at Biotropica [NUS Digital Library pdf].

Thanks to Ria Tan for the alert.

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