Scientists in Ecuador have discovered a new species of frog that is able to morph the texture of its skin – from spiny to smooth – within a matter of minutes. Aptly named ‘mutable rain frog’, the tiny, finger-nail sized creature is the first shape-shifting amphibian to ever be found.
According to a Livescience report, the mutable frogs were found in Reserva Las Gralarias, a protected cloud reserve forest on the western slopes of Ecuador’s Andes Mountains. The incredible discovery is credited to biologist Katherine Kryna and naturalist Tim Krynak, who have spent the past decade combing the reserve for rare frog species.
The duo first spotted the frog in 2006, when they had captured it on camera. On closer inspection of the photograph, they realised that it could be a new species. The frog’s spiny-textured skin stood out, so they started calling it ‘punk rocker’. “It wasn’t until we saw the amazing texture of its skin that we thought, ‘wow, this is something different,’” said Katherine.