One rare frog, the Hula painted frog, which was thought to be extinct has been spotted in northern Israel. It hadn’t been seen since 1955, so when it was suggested that the time had come to officially declare it as extinct, few people objected. However, a newly published paper in the journal Nature Communications has just revealed that the frog was spotted in its native habitat of northern Israel’s Hula Valley.
The Hula painted frog is considered to be one of a rare class of ‘living fossils’, so-called because they have remained physically un-evolved over millions of years, and have few or no living relatives. It has a pocked back and a black belly that is covered with white spots.
It was spotted by Yoram Malka, an Israeli park ranger, who glimpsed it from his passing vehicle and caught it before sending a picture of it to Professor Sarig Gafny, a river ecologist at Israel’s Ruppin Academic Centre.