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Frog with a mushroom sprouting from skin discovered in Western Ghats, researchers baffled

ByVrinda Jain
Mar 05, 2024 12:39 PM IST

The frog with a mushroom growth from its skin was found in foothills of the Kudremukha Ranges in the Western Ghats, Karkala taluk of Karnataka.

In a perplexing discovery, a group of naturalists from Karnataka, India, noticed a tiny mushroom sprouting from a golden-backed frog. As per a study published in the journal Reptiles and Amphibians, researchers have never seen a 'mushroom sprouting from the flank of a live frog'.

Golden-backed frog with a Bonnet Mushroom growing from its skin. (Image/@Reptiles and Amphibians)
Golden-backed frog with a Bonnet Mushroom growing from its skin. (Image/@Reptiles and Amphibians)

The journal revealed more about this discovery: "The frog was alive and moving. Mycologists later identified the mushroom to be a Bonnet Mushroom, which is known to be saprotrophic and occurs mostly on rotting wood."

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Lohit Y T, a rivers and wetlands specialist with World Wildlife Fund-India in Bengaluru, told CNN, "When I first observed the frog with the mushroom, I was amazed and intrigued by the sight. My thought was to document it, as this phenomenon is something we have never heard of. We just wanted this to be a rare incident and not a dangerous phenomenon for the frog."

According to Lohit, the naturalist observed the movement of the frog, watching it turning around and changing positions, but the mushroom remained perfectly in place. (Also Read: Himalayan Lynx, Leopard Toby fish: 5 extremely rare animals that left the world stunned)

Lohit also took to Instagram to share about this frog with a sprouting mushroom. Talking about this interesting find, he wrote "This observation marks a first-time occurrence and comes from the foothills of the Kudremukha Ranges in the Western Ghats, Karkala taluk of Karnataka."

Take a look at his post here:

Alyssa Wetterau Kaganer, a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Public and Ecosystem Health at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, described the discovery as 'fascinating.'

She told CNN, "Fungi are dynamic organisms that adapt to changes in their environment, and with exposure to new potential hosts in different environments or climates they may grow in places we hadn’t previously expected." (Also Read: Mutha river bank lost over 200 plant species in last 66 years: Study)

She also shared that it is difficult to predict the frog's fate without studying its condition, and an "otherwise healthy frog may be able to withstand mild colonization of its skin by this fungus without any adverse health effects. Fungal infections in frogs are very common, however, if the mushroom were to grow extensively on the skin or burrow within the animal’s body, the animal may develop signs of a fungal disease".

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