Scientists have discovered a tree frog species with an eerie batlike call in the Brazilian Amazon for which they have decided to name after Ozzy Osbourne
The frogs have been named ‘Dendropsophus ozzyi’ for their unusual bat-like call.
Dendropsophus Ozzyi as the amphibious creatures have been named have an unusually large vocal sac in the male of the species, a nearly transparent piece of skin that inflates to produce its unique sound. The male frogs make loud calls to communicate with females in distant treetops, but this species is the first known to sound like a bat.
One of the discovering scientist, Pedro Peloso stated: “As soon as I heard its call, I knew it was a new species. I had never heard anything like it.”
Pedro Peloso is a postdoctoral fellow at Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi, Brazil.
Peloso and his colleagues found the 0.75-inch amphibian during a biodiversity survey of Floresta Nacional de Pau-Rosa, a protected area in the state of Amazonas.
During the month-long expedition, the team of researchers had found 21 specimens of the brown-and-orange creature, which has long, delicate fingers and toes.
Once our team had brought them back to the lab, “we kept talking about the ‘bat frog,’ which led to us talking about most of us in the room being fans of both Black Sabbath and Ozzy Osbourne as a solo artist.” – Pedro Peloso
At a concert in 1981, Ozzy Osbourne bit the head off a bat that a fan had thrown on stage, although Ozzy later said he believed the bat was rubber.
Peloso named his bat frog Dendropsophus Ozzyi, and is described in the journal Zootaxa.
During the expedition, Peloso and his colleagues traveled up the Amazon by boat, sleeping in hammocks and collecting every piece of data they could find.
Pedro’s collection technique is remarkably low-tech: He carries only a plastic bag, a flashlight, and a digital audio recorder to capture the sounds made by the species he collects.
This strategy paid off: He found Dendropsophus Ozzyi in three different areas of the Brazilian Amazon.
Since the locations were so far apart, and travel between them difficult, Pedro believes the frog is widely distributed in the Amazon and is not in immediate danger of going extinct.
Despite the fact that the bat frog is likely common, he’s not surprised no one had found it before.
“To find a species, it’s a matter of being in the right place at the right time. If the conditions aren’t perfect, it’s really easy to miss them,” said Peloso.
Even so, the fact that a species was discovered in a relatively well-studied area of the Amazon further highlights the tremendous biodiversity of the area, said José Padial, an assistant curator at the Carnegie Natural History Museum in Pittsburgh. “The work was very, very thorough and represents just how little we know about life in the Amazon,” said José.