Amphibians using toxins to protect themselves at higher risk of extinction

Amphibians using toxins to protect themselves at higher risk of extinction

A new research has unveiled that amphibians that use toxins to protect themselves from predators are at increased risk of extinction in comparison to those amphibians that choose other modes of defense.

Study’s lead researcher Kevin Arbuckle University of Liverpool in England was of the view there could be many reasons owing to which amphibians using chemical defense face increased risk of extinction. Different mechanisms are used by animals including chemical defence including poisons or irritants, camouflage, warning coloration and mimicry.

For example, it could be that there is trade off which leaves prey vulnerable to other kinds of enemies, such as infectious diseases, but we do not yet understand what drives the relationship”, said Arbuckle.

The researchers said that many studies have been done to know how mechanisms discourage predators. But not much is known with regard to larger picture involving impact on larger evolutionary processes like speciation and extinction.

In the study, the researchers have assessed how rates of extinction and speciation vary among amphibians having different defense mechanisms. It was found that animals that use chemical defense show higher rates of speciation, and extinction in comparison to those who do not have chemical defense mechanism.

The researchers also affirmed that amphibians that use other defense measures like warning coloration and mimicry were found to be showing higher rates of speciation and unchanged rates of extinction. Study researchers have the findings may help support the conservation of endangered species by predicting extinction risk.

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