(An actual species of frog, not a band name.)
In 1962, scientists found a new species of frog in a cave in Zimbabwe. They named it the Cave Squeaker and then there were no more reported sightings of it for 54 years—that is, until a couple weeks ago.
The frog was put on an international red list for species suspected to be “critically endangered and possibly extinct,” and researcher Robert Hopkins has spent eight years trying to track down living specimens in the wild with his team. On December 3, after years of nothing, they found four at once in Chimanimani National Park:
The team found the first male specimen… after following an animal call that they had not heard before, Hopkins said. They then discovered another two males and a female.
First of all, the image of a team of scientists standing quietly in a dark cave waiting to follow the call of a frog is very sweet and pure to me. Second of all, you know what that gender ratio means: fucking. Test tube, regular— name it, these four are gonna do it. The team will take these frogs back to a lab and mold them into ardent sex-havers, so they can make more frogs, freeze fertilized frog eggs, and do all kinds of wild stuff for posterity.
According to canonical scientific database WikiHow, it doesn’t appear to be too difficult to do.
Cave Squeakers hatch as tiny, mature-looking frogs called froglets (!!!) because they go through their tadpole phase while they’re still inside the egg, so we’re really just looking at some terrariums and temperature modulation supplies-wise to get started. Could they be like pandas and end up too depressed in captivity to help the process along? Maybe. Or maybe they’ll be excited to be so close to other frogs after spending their lives alone in caves, squeaking into the void, hoping someone might be nearby and willing to touch parts. What a beautiful time.