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'Worst disease ever recorded' is responsible for 'frog apocalypse'



An apocalyptic fungus that chews through the flesh of frogs and toads is the "worst-known disease ever recorded."

The microbe kills unsuspecting victims by eating their skin and triggering heart attacks.

For the first time, scientists

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The disease it causes, Chytridiomycosis, has wiped out 90 species of amphibian ̵

1; including frogs, toads and salamanders – in the past 50 years.

"The results are pretty astounding," lead scientist dr. Benjamin Scheele, from the Australian National University, told the Guardian.

"We've known that chytrid is really bad for the better part of two decades, and actually quantifying those declines, that's what this study does." [19659003TheteamsaystheyarepickingoffamphibiansinEuropeAustraliaCentralandSouthAmericaandAfrica

In total, 500 species are in sharp decline or as a result of the chytrid fungus.

Having condemned more

It has "rewritten our understanding of what disease could do to wildlife." Scheele added.

The fungus is believed to have originated in Asia.

It spreads across the globe in the 1980s through human activities.

Once it has been infected, the fungus gets into

As amphibians breath and drink through their skin, the animals then die of heart disease or dehydration.

Since its discovery 20 years ago, scientists have scrambled to tally just how

"There is a need for objectively estimate impact, which, unfortunately, turned out to be more Pans, a scientist at Ghent University, told Earther.

Scientists said the story of chytrid shows just how damaging globalization and the wildlife trade can be

The research is published in the journal Scien ce.

This story originally appeared in The Sun.


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