Indian scientists discover new species of 'dancing frogs'

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Dancing frog coupleImage source, AP
Image caption,
Scientists said that finding names for the species had been a challenge

Scientists say they have discovered 14 new species of so-called "dancing frogs" in southern Indian forests.

The frogs get their nickname from the unusual kicks males make in breeding season.

However, the scientists have warned that 80% of the frogs from the newly discovered species live outside protected areas and that their habitats are being depleted.

The findings come after 12 years of research in the forests.

"It's quite an unexpected discovery of a large number of species," lead scientist Sathyabhama Das Biju told the BBC Tamil service.

"The uniqueness of these new species is what we can scientifically call 'foot flagging' behaviour to attract the female at the time of thee breeding season," he said.

The "foot flagging" consists of the male stretching, extending and whipping their legs to the side.

The team's findings were published on Thursday in the Ceylon Journal of Science and follow research in the Western Ghats mountain range which run south from the state of Maharashtra, parallel to India's western coast.