Samkos bush frog, Chiromantis samkosensis.
Image: Fauna and Flora International [larger view].
When conservation group Fauna and Flora International began its surveys in Cambodia’s remote Cardamom Mountains in 2000, the national list of known amphibians stood at just nine species. Now, the list has been extended to at least 63, including the green blooded and turquoise boned Samkos bush frog, Chiromantis samkosensis (above).
The Samkos bush frog is thought to be extremely rare. Its strange colored bones and blood are caused by the pigment biliverdin, a waste product usually processed in the liver. In this species, biliverdin is passed back into the blood giving it a green colour; a phenomenon also seen in some lizards. The green biliverdin is visible through the frog’s thin, translucent skin, making it even better camouflaged and possibly even causing it to taste unpalatable to predators.