Climate change causing frogs to shrink

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

coqui frog image
Coqui males have shrunk 10% in just 23 years.

Frogs are popular for their long tongues and impressive croaking, however, Puerto Rico’s famous coqui frogs are losing their charm. According to new research, pollution-caused global warming is weakening the males physically, which is creating threatening ripple effects throughout the entire species.

The study found that male coqui frogs are 10% shorter than they were a mere 23 years ago. As if that wasn’t enough of a blow to their manhood, the smaller bodies are causing their croaks to get all squeaky, which makes them unimpressive to both male and female coqui.

When male coqui compete for territory in croak-off competitions, the winner is often the frog with the deepest voice and best rhythm. Now that their croaks aren’t as deep and don’t last as long, the creatures are having trouble holding their ground. The high-pitched squeals aren’t exactly attracting the ladies either, which could mean the end of the frog species.

The saddest part of this whole story is that humans are largely to blame. While rising temperatures are to responsible for the coqui changes, a recent study found that humans are the main driving force behind the hotter weather. Basically, our cars, houses, and factories are spewing too many heat-trapping gases into the air, and it’s causing Earth to burn up. This global phenomenon is affecting all creatures on the planet, even ones as innocent as the adorable coqui frogs.

Featured image courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Region on Flickr.