10,000 ‘Scrotum Frogs’ Found Dead in Lake Titicaca

The critically endangered frogs were likely killed by pollution

October 20, 2016
Photo: AP

It ain’t easy being green or brown, as it turns out, as an estimated 10,000 “scrotum frogs” were recently found dead in and around Lake Titicaca. According to a disturbing new National Geographic report, the critically endangered amphibians were likely killed by pollution, say scientists.

The dead frogs were found along Peru’s Coata River, a Lake Titicaca tributary. Scientists are examining the dead animals and surrounding waters to determine cause of death, but one already has a hunch: “I would be amazed if it wasn’t human activity that precipitated this,” said Jonathan Kolby, a NatGeo contributor and PhD student who studies frogs in Latin America.

The Guardian reports human sewage and (largely illegal) heavy metal pollution may be behind the frogicide.

The Titicaca water frog earned the scrotal nickname because of its “amazingly baggy skin,” which may help it thrive in high altitudes of the Andes by absorbing extra oxygen from the water.

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