Biologists in Ecuador name otherworldly frog after fantasy author J.R.R. Tolkien 


A new frog species was discovered in the forests of Ecuador, and its colors and patterns reminded researchers of the mystical creatures that populate J.R.R. Tolkien’s books. As a result, the scientists named the new otherworldly frog Hyloscirtus tolkieni after the author. 

The scientists announced their discovery in the Scientific journal ZooKeys using an adaptation of the first lines of Tolkien’s book “The Hobbit.”

“In a stream in the forest there lived a Hyloscirtus. Not a nasty, dirty stream, with spoor of contamination and a muddy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy stream with nothing in it to perch on or to eat: it was a Hyloscirtus-stream, and that means environmental quality.”

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The 2.6-inch-long frog has a greyish-green and yellow coloration with shades of brown speckling and large, bright pink eyes. It was found in the pristine streams of the Río Negro-Sopladora National Park in Ecuador, situated on the equator, and lives at an elevation of 3190 meters.

The researchers note that the frog’s unique coloration patterns set it apart from other frogs of the same genus.