Scientists capture new images of rare horned frog thought to be extinct

Scientists have captured new images of a rare horned frog thought to be extinct.

The horned marsupial frog is so called because of its horn-like skin above the eyes and its pouch for carrying live young.

It was last seen in 2005 in Ecuador prompting researchers to believe it had gone forever.

However, a recent expedition into the endangered Choco rainforest by the conservation and research group Tropical Herving discovered a colony of the marsupial horned frogs.

The frogs live in the high canopy of the rainforest and their habitat has been under threat from deforestation.

It has now been taken to the Jambatu centre, one of the leading amphibian breeding and conservation centres in South America.

Director at Jambatu Dr Luis Coloma is overseeing the breeding programme for the species.

He said: "These marsupial frogs are amazing they have evolved this way of keeping embryos in a pouch and it has special adaptations for that, it then releases froglets, so they don't depend any more on water - standing in a pool - they are free from that, so evolution has produced these animals that are unique in the world."

The aim is to obtain 25 mating pairs of frogs and then 500 to be reintroduced back to nature.