• veronica smink
  • BBC World, Southern Cone

image source, Other

It has inhabited the Earth since before the American continent was formed, but in less than two decades it could disappear. That warns a group of experts studying the possible imminent extinction of Chile’s common large frog.

Considered a «living fossil», the Calyptocephalella gayi –as its official name– has an average size of 20 centimeters and a weight of more than one kilo, which makes it the largest amphibian in Chile, the only country in the world where this species lives.

But its unusual size is also its weakest point: in some parts of Chile the meat of this frog is considered a culinary delight, and although hunting is prohibited, authorities say that many of the farms authorized to sell them capture specimens instead. to raise them.

In 2008, the Chilean large frog was included in the Red List of Threatened Species compiled by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

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