Discovery of Frogs with Teeth Changes Evolutionary Theory
February 11, 2011
The regrowth of lower jaw teeth in one species of frog flies in the face of evolutionary theory- once a species loses a trait, it never comes back.
Y MIRANDA WHEATLEY
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“And now please show them your teeth Kermit!
Uh, Grover. Uh, Grover. I was going to say to you, you know how I’m a frog, you know, well frogs do not have teeth Grover, no teeth.
Open your mouth!” (YouTube/Sesame Workshop)
Almost everything you learn on Sesame Street is true. But on this one, Kermit’s got it wrong. Of nearly six thousand known species of frogs, a new study out of Stony Brook University suggests there’s actually one with a set of real-life chompers.
And that is spawning a conversation about evolution -- trait RE-evolution, to be exact. Take a look at all the species that don’t have teeth. According to the 19th Century Dollo’s Law, when a species loses a trait - like humans did tails - it never comes back. But these biologists say they’ve found a frog with teeth on both jaws - a trait not seen in some 200 million years. (Video from: National Geographic)
The tooth-frog species’ name is Gastrotheca guentheri and lives primarily in the Andean forests of Colombia and Ecuador. Head scientist John tells the BBC, analyzing frog fossils and DNA sequences helped him prove his theory.
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