North-West University Identifies 1st New African Bullfrog Species in Over a Century in Namibia

North-West University Identifies 1st New African Bullfrog Species in Over a Century in Namibia

  • North-West University in Potchefstroom has announced that it has identified a new species of African bullfrog in the northeastern regions of Namibia
  • The finding marks a significant milestone as it is the first new species of African bullfrog to be discovered in over a century
  • The species has been named Pyxicephalus Beytelli in honour of the late Ben Beytell, a pivotal figure in Namibia's conservation efforts
North-West University makes a historic discovery.
North-West University has found the first new African bullfrog species in over a hundred years. Images: Georges De Keerle
Source: Getty Images

Researchers from North-West University in Potchefstroom have unearthed a new species of African bullfrog.

New African bullfrog species

According to SABC, it has been named Pyxicephalus Beytelli. This species is historic as it's the first new bullfrog species discovered in Africa in over a hundred years and only the fourth to be identified in southern Africa.

The frog was found in Namibia's northeastern regions. Its name pays homage to the late Ben Beytell, a key figure in Namibia's conservation efforts, particularly in establishing Khaudum National Park, where the species thrives.

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Features of the bullfrog

Zoologist Professor Louis du Preez, leading the research team, highlighted the distinctiveness of this new frog. Genetically different from known bullfrogs, it exhibits unique physical features such as a distinctive claw, a relatively distant eardrum from the eye, and a prominent vertebral line.

Despite its appearance, du Preez reassures that the frog poses no threat to humans, emphasising its diet of small birds, mice, insects and other frogs.

Frog diversity

The discovery sheds light on the diversity of frogs in Southern Africa, with over 173 known species. Despite its remote habitat, researchers do not consider Pyxicephalus Beytelli to be threatened, attributing its obscurity to its secluded environment far from major towns.

Netizens thrilled about discovery

People throughout the country have applauded the research team the research team for a historic discovery. While others were afraid, others wanted a closer look at the new species.

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Here are some of the reactions:

@Sthemby Dlaminie commented:

"We discover almost all the reptiles in rural areas, especially in the coastal areas."

@Bonang Mpitsa shared:

"Maybe it is for the organisation that doesn't want to shift to give other political parties a chance to lead."

@Robinson Maakana joked:

"I saw this in my garden last season; I discovered this species first."

@Alfie Moriski stunned:

"There we go once again. Can't they find something serious in life to do than hunting down frogs mara?"

@Oupa Lamza Molamu praised:

"Scientists, keep up the good work"

@Makgato Hector said:

"That's why our country is still developing. While we have the best university, they're busy with wildlife."

@Lesenyeho Mokoena joked:

"We have been eating them for centuries; they are nothing about that research."

Limpopo man sells live frogs in village

In a similar story, Briefly News reported about a video of a man selling massive live frogs in Limpopo with tongues wagging on social media.

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The man appeared wandering through the village streets, seeking potential customers to sell the green frogs to. The clip sparked many questions from viewers, wondering why anyone would buy the hoppy creatures.

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Source: Briefly News

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