“you can’t get a functioning frog smaller than that.”

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Joined: 6 May 2016
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04 Jul 2022, 10:28 am

A Frog So Small, It Could Not Frog

Most frogs can jump and land with the precision and grace of an Olympic gymnast. And then there’s the pumpkin toadlet.
By Katherine J. Wu
June 15, 2022
https://www.theatlantic.com/science/arc ... ps/661262/
I asked Essner, who’s made a career out of studying jumping, if he thought the costs of miniaturization seemed worth it—if there was even a point to a terrestrial frog that couldn’t properly hop. “Boy, I have gotten that question a lot,” he said. But Essner isn’t so worried, especially because he’s recorded a couple of other species that are wildly incompetent at touching down, managing only belly flops galore. “And they’re fine,” he said.

The pumpkin toadlets, too, get by—even thrive. On the tropical forest floor, there are plenty of insects for them to nosh on; at least a few species are toxic, and colored in bright warning hues to keep predators at bay. Even their jumps aren’t that bad, Muñoz points out: “They still rapidly put distance between themselves” and whatever’s after them. It’s true that, in botching their landings, they’ve largely eschewed what most people might assume makes a frog fundamentally frog. But maybe the true marvel is that the toadlets have figured out a way to live without the signature hoppity-hop, all while embodying one of life’s extremes. The frogs may represent some of the tiniest amphibians that nature has ever, and will ever, produce; any littler, and there’d basically be no vestibular system at all. “It’s very possible,” Pie said, “that you can’t get a functioning frog smaller than that.”

"There are a thousand things that can happen when you go light a rocket engine, and only one of them is good."
Tom Mueller of SpaceX, in Air and Space, Jan. 2011


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Joined: 26 Aug 2010
Age: 67
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04 Jul 2022, 5:57 pm

Theyre cute. Deadly poisonous. But cute.