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Press Release 13-025

Biodiversity Protects Against Disease, Scientists Find

Discovery resulted from study of amphibians in ponds

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Image of frogs with deformed limbs in a pond.

Scientists peer into a pond containing amphibians with deformed limbs.

Credit: Dave Herasimtschuk/Freshwaters Illustrated


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A northern red-legged frog with limb deformities sitting on a leaf

A northern red-legged frog with limb deformities seems to watch researchers at work.

Credit: Dave Herasimtschuk/Freshwaters Illustrated


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Scientists searching a pond

Scientists search ponds for deformed amphibians.

Credit: Dave Herasimtschuk/Freshwaters Illustrated


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Biologist Pieter Johnson holding snails in his hand

Biologist Piet Johnson collects snails for parasite testing.

Credit: Dave Herasimtschuk/Freshwaters Illustrated


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herons and egrets

Amphibian-eating birds such as herons and egrets are part of the aquatic parasite cycle.

Credit: Dave Herasimtschuk/Freshwaters Illustrated


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A northern leopard frog with deformed limbs from a parasite infection.

This northern leopard frog has deformed limbs from a parasite infection.

Credit: Dave Herasimtschuk/Freshwaters Illustrated


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