Animals, Environment, Science

“Extinct” Rainbow Toad Found In Borneo

Bornean Rainbow Toad; image: Indraneil Das/APA colourful, spindly-legged toad was recently spotted by scientists in Borneo. The last time anyone had seen it was 1924, when it was reported by European explorers.

The bright green, purple and red toad is known as the Sambas Stream Toad, or Borneo Rainbow Toad. Many people had assumed it was extinct.

In July, three of the toads were found on three separate trees in Borneo, Indonesia which is an island off the coast of Southeast Asia. Borneo is the third-largest island in the world.

A professor at the Sarawak Malaysia University led the expedition to look for the toads.

They only had a black-and-white sketch to go by; no photographs were available.

The team of scientists had looked for the toads before, using the same route the explorers had taken, but they hadn’t found any. This time, they went higher up the Penrissen mountain range and found the specimens.

The scientists had to be very fit, because there was a lot of climbing involved. And the expedition, which took many months, was very expensive because the team had to stay at an expensive golf resort while they were searching.

The toads are about five centimetres long. They are a male and a female adult and a younger toad.

The team won’t say exactly where they found the toads, because they’re worried about someone illegally capturing the stunning looking amphibians. The beautiful toads are in great demand as pets.

The researchers have been given a two-year grant from the University of Malaysia to continue studying the toads to learn more about them.

By Kathleen Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
The expedition to search for and study the toad is very expensive. Do you think that this is money well-spent?
How could the information that the scientists gather impact our understanding of our environment?

Reading Prompt
The article explains that when the scientists went to look for the rainbow toad, they didn’t have photographs to look at; they only had a black-and-white sketch.  Why do you think this was the case?
Use information from the text and your own ideas to answer this question.

Use stated and implied ideas in texts to make inferences and construct meaning (OME, Reading: 1.5).

Develop and explain interpretations of increasingly complex or difficult texts using stated and implied ideas from the texts to support their interpretations (OME, Reading: 1.5).

Grammar Feature: Adjectives
Adjectives are describing words.  Some adjectives that were used to describe the frog are: colourful, beautiful, bright green, purple and red.  After reading the article and looking at the picture of the toad, can you think of 10 more adjectives to describe it?