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A Frog Croaks in Staten Island

After years of work, researchers identified a new species of leopard frog in New York City and surrounding counties, reports The New York Times' Lisa Foderaro. Rutgers University doctoral candidate Jeremy Feinberg first noticed the frog's distinctive vocalization on a trip through Staten Island in 2009, Foderaro says. "[He] heard something strange as he listened for the distinctive mating call of the southern leopard frog — usually a repetitive chuckle. But this was a single cluck," she adds. Since then, researchers from across the country have joined Feinberg in multiple field and lab studies, and have declared the frog to be a brand new species. The findings, published in Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, show that the frog is a genetically distinct organism from other species of leopard frogs, Foderaro says. The frog is yet unnamed — Feinberg has the naming rights, but hasn't yet picked what he'll call his discovery.