DATABASE: Down at the Frog Pond

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Science  10 Sep 2004:
Vol. 305, Issue 5690, pp. 1543
DOI: 10.1126/science.305.5690.1543a

The world's nearly 5700 amphibian species encompass baritone bullfrogs bellowing for a mate and wormlike caecilians slithering silently through tropical soils, tiny Brazilian frogs that could hide under a dime and lumbering salamanders big enough to tangle with an alligator. A clearinghouse of data on this multifarious group is AmphibiaWeb, sponsored by the University of California, Berkeley. The site is partway to its goal of posting a page for each amphibian species, with information on taxonomy, distribution, behavior, and conservation. Along with the more than 1000 species accounts, AmphibiaWeb holds recordings of nearly 100 frog calls and over 4000 photos. Above, the eastern newt (Notophthalmus viridescens), which lives from Nova Scotia to Florida.

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