Man am I not on top of things. EDGE released its list of evolutionarily distinct and Globally Endangered amphibians last week, and I just read the press release with the top 10 (actually nine, but it says 10) on the list. If you want a brief explanation about how EDGE prioritizes conservation, I blogged the PLoS paper released by EDGE scientists last year.
Without further ado, the list:
Chinese giant salamander (salamander that can grow up to 1.8m in length and evolved independently from all other amphibians over one hundred million years before Tyrannosaurus rex)
Sagalla caecilian (limbless amphibian with sensory tentacles on the sides of its head)
Purple frog (purple-pigmented frog that was only discovered in 2003 because it spends most of the year buried up to 4m underground)
Ghost frogs of South Africa (one species is found only in the traditional human burial grounds of Skeleton Gorge in Table Mountain, South Africa)
Olm (blind salamander with transparent skin that lives underground, hunts for its prey by smell and electrosensitivity and can survive without food for 10 years)
Lungless salamanders of Mexico (highly endangered salamanders that do not have lungs but instead breathe through their skin and mouth lining)
Malagasy rainbow frog (highly-decorated frog that inflates itself when under threat and can climb vertical rock surfaces)
Chile Darwin’s frog (a frog where fathers protect the young in their mouths, this species has not been officially seen since around 1980 and may now be extinct)
Betic midwife toad (toads that evolved from all others over 150 million years ago – the males carry the fertilised eggs wrapped around their hind legs)
Darren also blogged about this last week.