Home Animals Rare 'scrotum' frog from lake Titicaca is on show at Chester Zoo.

Rare ‘scrotum’ frog from lake Titicaca is on show at Chester Zoo.

A rare species of endangered frog known as the “scrotum frog” due to its sagging skin has been on exhibit at Chester Zoo in Britain for the first time.

The world’s biggest aquatic frog is found in Lake Titicaca. It spends most of its life at the lake’s bottom, collecting oxygen through its sagging folds of extra skin.

image courtesy :  Chester Zoo / SWNS

Rare 'scrotum' frog from lake Titicaca is on show at Chester Zoo.

This characteristic has earned it the moniker “scrotum frog.”

Twenty of the endangered amphibians are currently being cared for at Chester Zoo, where conservationists are researching their behavior.

The zoo was the first in Europe to provide a home for the species, and it is believed that their conservation efforts would help avoid the frog’s extinction due to pollution, habitat degradation, and hunting.

Rare 'scrotum' frog from lake Titicaca is on show at Chester Zoo.

The zoo’s curator of lower vertebrates and invertebrates, Dr. Gerardo Garcia, said: “We’re thrilled to be able to share our efforts to conserve these frogs with the general public, many of whom will be meeting them for the first time during their visit to the zoo.

“What we need to do now is expand our understanding of the species and its biology by learning everything we can about its life cycle, mating habits, preferred environment, and capacity to tolerate or fight chytrid, a fatal fungus that is wiping out many frogs.

“We may then use that important knowledge to take conservation measures in the wild,” says the researcher.

He went on to say that frogs in Lake Titicaca are critically endangered and that they have suffered as a result of pollution and invasive fish species, among other things.

“It’s illegal to gather these frogs, but residents in Peru and Bolivia are known to do so,” he added. “They use them in smoothies, which they believe boosts virility and vitality.”

Rare 'scrotum' frog from lake Titicaca is on show at Chester Zoo.

“We want to make sure the Lake Titicaca frog remains around for years to come,” Dr. Garcia stated.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature has categorized the frogs as endangered (IUCN).

It is believed that between 50 and 80 percent of the inhabitants of Lake Titicaca have perished in the previous 20 years.

Researchers established a rescue center and attempted to breed the frogs before requesting help from conservationists at Denver Zoo in the United States and now Chester Zoo in the United Kingdom.

Roberto Elias Piperis, the coordinator of the wildlife laboratory at Peru’s Cayetano Heredia University, which has a partnership with Chester Zoo, said: “This species is unlike any other.

“It can only be found in Lake Titicaca and its environs, where it has adapted to the harsh circumstances.

“The lake is at an exceptionally high height, about four times higher than the peak of Mount Snowdon in Wales, and it has both ecological and cultural significance, since the locals regard the frogs as a link between themselves and the gods, and they employ them in rain-calling ceremonies.”

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