Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Leiopelmatidae, or New Zealand Primitive Frogs as is their common name, belong to suborder archaeobatrachia. Their belonging to this suborder suggests they are an ancient family. Only four species are known, or believed, to belong to the family. Furthermore, as the common name suggests, they may only be found in New Zealand.
Their defining characteristics are the extra vertebrae (bringing to total to nine), and muscles allowing the capacity for tail wagging. The family, of the same suborder, Ascaphidae share these "unique" characteristics, and hence the two have often been described as related, or even part of the same family.
Physically, and again similar to ascaphidae, they are extremely small (5 centimetres). Preferring damp conditions, eggs are laid, fertilised, and after hatching the larvae nest in the males back.
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