Discovery Of 7,000th Amphibian Celebrated In Song

Aug 2, 2012
Originally published on August 2, 2012 5:39 pm
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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Now to a celebration. Well, it's actually more along the lines of...

(SOUNDBITE OF FROGS CREEKING)

CORNISH: Yes. Today, we, the warm-blooded, honor those who are not - namely, amphibians. That's because of the discovery of the 7,000th species of amphibian. A website called AmphibiaWeb at the University of California, Berkeley is keeping count.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "7,000 KINDS OF AMPHIBIANS")

CORNISH: Oh, and they wrote a song about it.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "7,000 KINDS OF AMPHIBIANS")

CORNISH: Well, the song is written and performed by a friend of AmphibiaWeb, Connor Lockridge, so in his rock star moments, he goes by the name The Wiggly Tendrils.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "7,000 KINDS OF AMPHIBIANS")

DAVID WAKE: You listen to it a couple of times and it sort of catches in there, doesn't it?

CORNISH: That's David Wake. He's the website's founding member and an expert on salamanders at Berkeley. By the way, for those keeping track at home, the 7,000th species of amphibian is called Centrolene sabini, a type of glass frog from Peru, but Wake says they've already surpassed that number.

WAKE: We have - oh, let me check AmphibiaWeb. We list the number of species. We're already up to 7,006.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "7,000 KINDS OF AMPHIBIANS")

CORNISH: That's a lot of amphibians, but write a song about it? Seriously?

WAKE: Most people have positive feelings towards amphibians. Just think about "The Muppets," for example. You know, Kermit the Frog. They're kind of harmless, benign organisms that speak to our childhood. I remember the first time I found a salamander. I remember it to this day.

CORNISH: Man or muppet or amphibian, it's kind of sweet, actually.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE RAINBOW CONNECTION")

CORNISH: You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.