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Frog project

We are collaborating with a team of researchers from the Hoke lab at Colorado State University to study the development of hearing structures in frogs. With funding from the National Science Foundation “Flexibility, constraints, and selection in repeated ear loss and regain in toads”, we are comparing the hearing ability and differences in morphology in the ear structures of 12 species of toads in the genera Rhinella and Atelopus that are found in different regions Peru and Ecuador. In the coming years we will study the developmental processes that might lead to species differences in ear structures and hearing ability, and also the differences in gene expression that would guide those developmental differences using transcriptomics techniques in the laboratory at Colorado State University.

CDS is the main home base for this project in Perú. Here, we are learning about the reproductive ecology of four important species in the study. Very little is known about these species and in addition to contributing to the overall study of hearing structures in toads, we are documenting important behaviors and species characteristics of these endemic amphibians.

The findings of this project will aid in the conservation of these very understudied species, and also will contribute to our overall understanding of the development of hearing and ears across all animals. The research team is also implementing exhibits at international museums focused on educating the public about the crisis of global amphibian declines and contributing to efforts to breed and reintroduce critically threatened frog species that are on the IUCN Red List.

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