Australian wildlife has often failed to match the expectations of what animals should be. We have black swans, mammals that lay eggs and earthworms that grow to nearly three metres in length.
One of the most bizarre Australian creatures of all, Rheobatrachus vitellinus (the Northern Gastric Brooding Frog), was discovered just west of Mackay in the Eungella National Park. This amazing frog laid her eggs then swallowed them and allowed them to develop within her stomach before vomiting them out as fully-formed juveniles. Even more bizarre is that the frog was discovered in January 1984 but has never been seen again since March 1985. It is another frog that is thought to have been sent to extinction by Chyrtrid fungus.
One university researcher has not given up the species. Dr Conrad Hoskin from James Cook University is planning an expedition to the Urannah Creek west of Mackay to use modern environmental DNA detection methods to determine whether the frog still exists in this isolated waterway. In this presentation, Conrad will explain why it is thought that the Northern Gastric Brooding Frog could still exist in the streams on the western side of the Clark Range and how he plans to find them.
Our other presenter is Professor Michael Mahony, the discoverer of the Northern Gastric Brooding Frog. He will tell us more about work that has been done to try to resurrect a similar species. Researchers have transplanted the nuclear DNA of the extinct Southern Gastric Brooding Frog into the eggs of a living frog. Professor Mahony will reveal some of the exciting results that project has produced as well as the challenges that lay ahead for scientists trying to bring that unique species back from extinction. Find out more about the project in this video:
Mackay, QLD 4740
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