It is being billed as the world’s greatest frog hunt and the Australian gastric brooding frog, last seen back in 1985, is on the most wanted list. Conservation International is organising the search and says scientists are optimistic about the prospect of at least one rediscovery. The recent find in the southern Tablelands of NSW of the yellow-spotted bell frog after not being seen for 30 years has clearly given them hope.
The keen interest in the gastric brooding frogs of Australia comes partly from their raising tadpoles in their stomachs, which is something unique in the animal world. The production of stomach acid is turned off and the BBC reports medical researchers hoped that understanding how the frogs did it could lead to new treatments for stomach ulcers. But disappearance of the species in 1985 — probably another victim of chytridiomycosis — put paid to such notions.