More than 66 million years ago an asteroid will have led to mass extinction that has eliminated about three-quarters of Earth’s living species, including dinosaurs. However, frogs and frogs had a different fate.
According to findings of a new study carried out by Chinese and American biologists, these species have multiplied as never before. In order to better understand the evolution of these amphibians, a phylogenetic tree (a diagram of evolutionary relations) was created through the analysis of 156 genomes of frogs and previously published information of about 145 species, Is a conclusion. About 88 percent of frogs and frogs would not be on the planet if mass extinction had not occurred, considering that 9 in 10 of the current species descend from three different lineages that survived the catastrophe.
In the research published this week in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is involved the Sun Yat-Sen University of China, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of California at Berkeley and the Museum of History Natural of the United States.
“The world became very impoverished as a result of the great extinction, and when the vegetation returned, the angiosperms (plants endowed with flowers and fruits) began to dominate. From there, the trees evolved and the frogs and frogs became arboreal. This has allowed species to multiply, especially in South America, “explained David Wake, co-author of the study to the Science Daily.
The researcher also explained that the plants were used as protection when they were on land and also as an escape from predators. These factors made trees the ideal habitat for these species. Many of these plants flourished during the late Cretaceous period, the last of the Mesozoic era, and were exploited by frogs after they finally recovered from the adverse effects of the great extinction.
There are two of the three surviving strains, Microhylidae and Natatanurasairam that belong to Africa. The third, Hyloidea, spread to the site that later became South America. The results show that the three lineages, with 55 families and 6,700 species of frogs and of 66 million years, and at least 35 million years after what was indicated by previous studies.
“These frogs survived perhaps because they could remain underground for long periods of time,” said David Wake. “Frogs are excellent at living in microhabitats, and once forests and tropical ecosystems are reborn, they quickly seized on the ecological opportunities that have emerged,” he added.
Still with this resistance, modern species of frogs and toads are threatened, among other reasons, but mainly by the destruction of habitat, climate change and by the human occupation.