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6000 x 4000 pixels
50.8 x 33.8 cm ⏐ 20.0 x 13.3 in (300dpi)
DANTE FENOLIO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DANTE FENOLIO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Night hiking along mountain streams can be rewarding. The splash zones of waterfalls and streamside vegetation are often great places for wildlife encounters. In the coastal mountain range in southern Chile, a reclusive and poorly understood species inhabits the humid southern Beach forests. Night hikes along the streams that drain the mountainous habitat allowed us to encounter the Pelado Mountains False Toad, Telmatobufo australis. The closest living relatives to T. australis and the several other frogs of the family Calyptocephalellidae are a group of frogs in Australia. The lineage is ancient, perhaps with origins dating back to Gonwana. All of the False Toads have what is known as a torrent adapted tadpole. The bodies of the tadpoles are flattened out and the mouth is a suctorial disc. The mouth parts are specialized for wrasping algae from the surface of smooth river rock. The tadpoles are strong swimmers. The family is struggling with serious.
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