That’ll Teach You to Put Pee in Frogs
Lethal frog fungus spread by pregnancy test, researchers suspect
Weird non sequitur of the day: A skin fungus that’s killing off frogs worldwide may have been spread by a pregnancy test. Yeah, we got that same confused look. A few decades ago, African clawed frogs were used to detect pregnancy — with surprising accuracy. The hopper would be injected with a woman’s urine, and if she was preggers, the frog would spawn within a few hours. These foretelling froggies were exported all over the world, and may have taken with them the chytrid fungus, which has been found on all continents except Asia and Antarctica and is likely responsible for the extinction of about 75 harlequin frog species in South and Central America in the last 17 years. Thanks to global warming — and what can’t we thank global warming for these days? — warmer tropical temperatures have provided a perfect climate for the fungus to spread.