Science & Tech

Mushroom sprouting from frog's leg leaves scientists concerned

Mushroom sprouting from frog's leg leaves scientists concerned
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ZMG - Amaze Lab / VideoElephant

Scientists have been left concerned after making the surprise discovery of a frog with a small mushroom sprouting from its leg.

The amphibian was discovered in the foothills of India’s Western Ghats and researchers stated that it’s the first time a mushroom has been found growing on live animal tissue.

Researchers affiliated with the World Wildlife Fund released findings on the species, known as Rao’s intermediate golden-backed frog (Hylarana intermedia), in a study published in the journal Reptiles and Amphibians.

The mushroom in question is said to be a Bonnet Mushroom (Mycena sp.), which normally grows on rotting wood.

Researchers said in the study: “To the best of our knowledge, never has a mushroom sprouting from the flank of a live frog been documented.”

Details about the exact nature of the mushroom aren’t yet clear, but the implications of the discovery could be worrying.

Normally, mushrooms don’t grow on animal skin because they don’t usually possess the required nutrients to sustain them.

However, the parasitic fungus called Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis – more commonly known as the chytrid fungus – is a real threat to animal life and has led to a decline in global amphibian populations.

It’s the most recent concerning fungal story to emerge in the world of science since research revealed last year that a man contracted a serious case of 'Last of Us' - style silver leaf disease – a fungal infection which usually only affects plants.

The 61-year-old unnamed patient, from India, developed the disease in his throat, in an example of a pathogen leaping from the plant kingdom into humans.

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