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Frog species much younger than thought?

female horned frog, part of “species complex” /Systematics Lab

From ScienceDaily:

These new results indicate that the Asian Horned Frogs family may have originated as recently as 77 million years ago in contrast to 100-126 mya as previously estimated, and suggest that scientists might have been also overestimating the age of many other families of frogs by up to 35%.

The results have completely changed our understanding of how the different Asian Horned Frog species and their species groups are related. Many of the species that look similar, and so were considered to be closely related, were found to be distant relatives of each other, and those that look different were found to be closely related. Paper. (public access) – Stephen Mahony, Nicole M. Foley, S.D. Biju, Emma C. Teeling. Evolutionary History of the Asian Horned Frogs (Megophryinae): Integrative Approaches to Timetree Dating in the Absence of a Fossil Record. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 2017; msw267 DOI: 10.1093/molbev/msw267 More.

Of course, the concept of speciation is in fine shape, right? Always is. No matter what.

See also: Big squawks over bird speciation? Speciation is the Holy Grail of Darwinian evolution. To find an example in action is to find something spectacular.

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