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|I just read a facinating article about the discovery that a rare frog in the tropical forests of Borneo actually has no lungs. This small 2-inch frog, Barbourula kalimantanensis, lives in the cold, swift flowing river in the tropical rainforest of Borneo, near the equator. Apparently the little frog absorbs oxygen through its skin. Cold water carries more oxygen than warm water. Being cold-blooded, the frog doesn't need as much oxygen as a warm blooded creature. The researcher who is studying these frogs, David Bickford, says the frogs are related to a lunged frog from the Phillipines. He hypothesizes that lungless body allows the frog to flatten itself more, increasing it surface to volume area ratio, allowing it to absorb more oxygen. At the same time, not having lungs enabled it not to be swept away as easily in the swift moving river.
A beautiful example of natural selection acting on a population to adapt to its environment, I woudl say.