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Reproductive plasticity revealed: Neotropical treefrog can choose to lay eggs in water or on land
Date:5/19/2008

mal reproduces has been viewed as fixed, since most aquatic eggs die on land, and terrestrial eggs drown in water. This little yellow treefrog shows us such inflexibility is not universal.

Thus, the evolutionary change from aquatic to terrestrial eggs -- which has happened many times -- may not be a dichotomous switch but instead represent movement along a continuum.

Touchon and Warkentin suggest that this treefrog could represent an intermediate stage in the evolution of terrestrial reproduction, combining a retained ancestral capacity for aquatic development with a derived ability for terrestrial oviposition and development. This discovery opens new avenues of research into the evolution of reproduction on land. The treefrogs ability to vary where it lays its eggs might also help it cope with changes in its environment, improving its chances of surviving habitat clearing or climate change.


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Contact: Ronald Rosenberg
ronrosen@bu.edu
617-358-1240
Boston University
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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