Image # 2857
Pacific Tree Frog w/ extra hind legs caused by parasites
While doing graduate research at Stanford University, Pieter T. Johnson discovered that tiny parasitic flatworms, or trematodes, were causing malformations in tree frogs in several ponds in Santa Clara County, Califoria. The trematodes invaded young tadpoles, causing deformities to occur in the developing frogs. Johnson now works at the University of Colorado/Boulder. (Background has been digitally darkened.) The Pacific Tree Frog is able to adapt to a wide variety of different habitats - from wet rainforests in the coastal ranges of the Pacific Northwest to dry, cold high altitude Ponderosa Pine forests east of the Cascade Mountiains.