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News Release 05-192

When Froggy Goes a Courtin'

Females don't fall for the same old song when distant groups reconnect

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Speciation of green-eyed tree frog

When isolated populations (north, south) of the green-eyed tree frog met again 8,000 years ago, each had changed in subtle ways. The calls of the male frogs were different, and more importantly, the offspring of a north-south pairing didn't survive well. One population that was cut off from its southern kin (isolated south) found a way to ensure healthy young. Isolated southern females selected southern males by virture of their distinctive call. The preference resulted in rapid speciation between the two populations of southern frogs.

Credit: Nicolle Rager Fuller, National Science Foundation

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