Category Archives: The Greater Mekong

Frogs That Sing Sweet, Lizards With Tiny Feet, and More

The Greater Mekong region in Southeast Asia is known for biodiversity. It’s recently been found to be even more diverse. Several fascinating and far-out creatures have been discovered there hiding from the outside world in the area’s dense forests.

 

One is Quangi’s tree frog, which, unlike other frogs, woos lady frogs with songs instead of croaks. It combines a repertoire of chirps, clicks and whistles into melodies, and researchers say that no two of its songs are ever the same wild-facts.com. Also called the Sweet Singing Frog, it’s said that the frog sounds just like a songbird. What lady frog could resist?

 

The two-legged lizard from central Thailand seems to either be missing something or have too many of something. It has two tiny legs in front but none behind. It’s only the second land reptile and the first skink ever discovered that has front legs but no hind legs. (A skink is a lizard with no neck and small limbs en.wikipedia.org). If you asked it, maybe it would say it was evolving to become a snake.

 

An already-evolved snake is the ruby-eyed pit viper, newly found in the forests of northern Vietnam. Pit vipers are poisonous snakes that have heat-sensing pits, or organs, between their eyes and nostrils. This helps them locate warm-blooded prey reptileknowledge.com. The ruby-eyed pit viper is a beautiful snake with bright green scales and startling crimson eyes. But don’t pick it up. Its venom is hemotoxic, meaning it poisons the blood, and also necrotizing, meaning it kills tissues. Ouch!

 

The Beelzebub bat is a devilish-looking little guy with a wicked grin. Also called the demon bat, it’s normally very shy but can put up a good fight if it’s cornered. However, these bats help humans by eating lots of insects. They’re members of a group called vesper bats; vesper is Latin for evening and that’s when they’re most active. Three types of Beelzebub bats have actually been discovered in Vietnam, but deforestation is threatening their habitat since they live in deep jungles.

 

Who knows what else is out there? Maybe devilish, red-eyed lizards that sing!