Israel spring 2017 - tripreport online!

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Israel spring 2017 - tripreport online!

Postby Bobby Bok » Wed May 10, 2017 7:59 pm

When I was a young boy I first read about the Hula Painted Frog (Latonia nigriventer) in the Collins Field Guide. There it was still grouped under the genus Discoglossus and was thought to be extinct since 1955. It actually was the first amphibian species to be declared extinct by the IUCN. No one saw this species until in 2011 a tiny population was rediscovered in the Hula Nature reserve in Israel.
Nowadays this species is well protected within the Hula Nature Reserve and several other populations have been found as well. What an amazing experience to see this once declared extinct, this huge and ancient frog species (a living fossil!) in the wild!
These animals can reach lengths of around 15cm but hide well. Most individuals we saw were hiding between thick reeds and typically had only the head visible between the floating algae.
fh1.jpg
Hula Painted Frog (Latonia nigriventer)

fh2.jpg
Hula Painted Frog (Latonia nigriventer)

fh3.jpg
Hula Painted Frog (Latonia nigriventer)


Pictures by Laura & Bobby Bok, tripreport online under: https://www.herpsafari.nl/tripreports-o ... -4-israel/
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Re: Israel spring 2017 - seeing a living fossil in the wild

Postby Jürgen Gebhart » Thu May 11, 2017 7:35 am

This is a great find, Congrats!!!
but I expect more, much more!
You know what I want to see!!! ;)
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Re: Israel spring 2017 - seeing a living fossil in the wild

Postby Bobby Bok » Thu May 11, 2017 9:02 am

Thanks Jürgen! And I am not sure what you want to see, I think it is either pictures of me swimming or a snake that starts with D and ends with aboia palestinae!
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Re: Israel spring 2017 - seeing a living fossil in the wild

Postby Jeroen Speybroeck » Thu May 11, 2017 10:51 am

That's the good stuff! It's like someone took a Discoglossus and turned it into a cartoon character, with that funny nose! Love that starlight throat too... Would this be a big momma, or is obesitas a species-specific trait?
To teach Bero how nitpicking can sometimes also be on topic, this species, however, does not qualify as a living fossil. But it's still nitpicking and equally annoying and bad for the overall atmosphere. :twisted:
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Re: Israel spring 2017 - seeing a living fossil in the wild

Postby Jürgen Gebhart » Thu May 11, 2017 11:20 am

A picture see you swimming is a very good start, I never seen that before!
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Re: Israel spring 2017 - seeing a living fossil in the wild

Postby Niklas Ban » Thu May 11, 2017 5:27 pm

I heard that they live at some places in every dirty hole with water in it and are quite common at those places. Is this true? :lol:
Anyway show us some interesting species! :twisted:
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Re: Israel spring 2017 - seeing a living fossil in the wild

Postby Berislav Horvatic » Thu May 11, 2017 7:13 pm

Jeroen Speybroeck wrote:To teach Bero how nitpicking can sometimes also be on topic, this species, however, does not qualify as a living fossil. But it's still nitpicking and equally annoying and bad for the overall atmosphere. :twisted:

Thanks, Jeroen, for the lesson. But I disagree. ON-topic "nitpicking", like yours in this case, is INFORMATION. Why should it
be "annoying and bad for the overall atmosphere"? I strongly believe that scientific (and any other) truth is more important
than "atmosphere".
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Re: Israel spring 2017 - seeing a living fossil in the wild

Postby Robin Duborget » Thu May 11, 2017 8:21 pm

Beautiful (the species and the pictures !) :)
I remember seing recently this species in some papers about extinct frogs being rediscovered, but didn't know it was "realisable" to see them in the wild ! Well done !

Robin

ps : But I disagree with the term "living fossil", neither actual species can be called "living fossil" in the light of the most recents papers about evolution.
The "living fossil" species and their ancestor are ot the same thing (there is an inevitable accumulation of mutations other the ages), even if it look like (only on the outside).
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Re: Israel spring 2017 - seeing a living fossil in the wild

Postby Bobby Bok » Thu May 11, 2017 8:27 pm

Jeroen Speybroeck wrote:That's the good stuff! It's like someone took a Discoglossus and turned it into a cartoon character, with that funny nose! Love that starlight throat too... Would this be a big momma, or is obesitas a species-specific trait?
To teach Bero how nitpicking can sometimes also be on topic, this species, however, does not qualify as a living fossil. But it's still nitpicking and equally annoying and bad for the overall atmosphere. :twisted:


Yep, they are such amazing frogs and they have this distinct "ancient" feel about them. The first picture is a male and the latter two pictures are from a female. All in all, quite a bulky species.

As for the living fossil comment, I guess it depends on how you define living fossil. Fossils of Latonia frogs - dating back millions of years ago - have been found. They share a common ancestor with Discoglossus dating back around 30 million years ago. That this genus still exists makes it a living fossil in my eyes. Correct me if I'm wrong...

Jürgen Gebhart wrote:A picture see you swimming is a very good start, I never seen that before!


Coming your way verrrry soon ;)

Niklas Ban wrote:I heard that they live at some places in every dirty hole with water in it and are quite common at those places. Is this true? :lol:
Anyway show us some interesting species! :twisted:


They are found at several sites within the Hula Nature Reserve and at one site just outside of the reserve. My guess is that they are more common than we think at the moment and there are more places where they occur, waiting to be discovered. But still, considering they only live in this tiny part of the Hula valley doesn't make them common. Like, not at all...

And this is about as interesting as a species can get, the biggest highlight BY FAR of the whole trip for me ;)
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Re: Israel spring 2017 - seeing a living fossil in the wild

Postby Michal Szkudlarek » Thu May 11, 2017 8:28 pm

"The "living fossil" species and their ancestor are ot the same thing (there is an inevitable accumulation of mutations other the ages), even if it look like (only on the outside)."
this living fossil thing it is all about looking the same
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