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The Evolution, Physiology and Ecology of the Australian Arid-Zone Frog Fauna

  • J. Dale Roberts
  • Danielle Edwards
Chapter

Abstract

The frog fauna of the Australian arid zone is diverse. Most species are independent of free-standing water except for breeding where all species have aquatic egg deposition and a conventional tadpole as the larval stage. The fauna is derived from two sources: taxa related to frog genera found across i) tropical, northern Australia and ii) genera from temperate, southern and eastern Australian. Those derivations are both recent – with some ongoing tenuous connections to tropical in north-west coastal areas, and ancient, reflecting the long term drying trend in arid Australia over the last 20 million years. Burrowing species can form waterproof cocoons, but also survive in moist soils. Most can reduce metabolic rates and ingest high quality foods in sufficient quantities in very short time frames to allow survival underground for many years between major rain events, and to allow them to be super abundant. Australian frogs do well in the arid zone!

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre of Excellence in Natural Resource ManagementThe University of Western AustraliaAlbanyAustralia
  2. 2.School of Biological SciencesThe University of Western AustraliaAlbanyAustralia
  3. 3.Life and Environmental SciencesUniversity of CaliforniaMercedUSA

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