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Nature: Frogs: The Thin Green Line

Frogs have been living on this planet for more than 360 million years, and over the centuries, evolved into some of the most wondrous and diverse creatures on earth. Today, however, all their remarkable adaptations and survival tactics are failing them. Recent discoveries are startling: more than a third of all amphibians – most of which are frogs and toads – have already been lost, and more are disappearing every day. It is an environmental crisis unfolding around the globe, traveling from Australia to North and South America.

Metallic frog - It is the greatest mass extinction since the dinosaurs. Large-scale die-offs of frogs, some of the most diverse and charismatic creatures on earth, have prompted scientists to take desperate measures to try to save those they can.

Metallic frog - It is the greatest mass extinction since the dinosaurs. Large-scale die-offs of frogs, some of the most diverse and charismatic creatures on earth, have prompted scientists to take desperate measures to try to save those they can.

Credit: Andrew Young/©2009 WNET.ORG

The golden frog used to be common in Panama. Today, these rare beauties are found only in captivity. Biologists are trying to keep the species alive in hopes that it will someday be returned to the wild.

The golden frog used to be common in Panama. Today, these rare beauties are found only in captivity. Biologists are trying to keep the species alive in hopes that it will someday be returned to the wild.

Credit: Andrew Young/©2009 WNET.ORG

This male frog from Panama protects his young tadpoles until they hatch, keeping them moist and fending off predators.

This male frog from Panama protects his young tadpoles until they hatch, keeping them moist and fending off predators.

Credit: Andrew Young/©2009 WNET.ORG

Red-eyed tree frog - It is the greatest mass extinction since the dinosaurs. Large-scale die-offs of frogs, some of the most diverse and charismatic creatures on earth, have prompted scientists to take desperate measures to try to save those they can.

Red-eyed tree frog - It is the greatest mass extinction since the dinosaurs. Large-scale die-offs of frogs, some of the most diverse and charismatic creatures on earth, have prompted scientists to take desperate measures to try to save those they can.

Credit: Andrew Young/©2009 WNET.ORG

A frog’s bulging eyes allow it to see front, side and even partly behind.

A frog’s bulging eyes allow it to see front, side and even partly behind.

Credit: Andrew Young/©2009 WNET.ORG

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