The Atlantic

Why Are Some Frogs Surviving a Global Epidemic?

A killer fungus could be changing. Or the frogs themselves could be evolving.
Source: Lev Savitskiy / Getty

In December 2004, Joyce Longcore was dispatched on an unusual mission. At the time, Longcore, a mycologist at the University of Maine, was one of the world’s only experts on a division of fungi called Chytridiomycota, or chytrids. A few years earlier, she had identified a new genus and species of chytrid called for short—that turned out to be a primary cause of the massive amphibian die-offs that had recently been reported on several continents. In Central America, the outbreak was sweeping east, decimating frog and toad populations along the way. In late 2004, dead frogs began appearing in El Copé National samples for study.

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