A frog might not be the first animal that comes to mind when you think "Ozzy Osbourne." That distinction would probably go to a bat, right? A team of scientists thought so too, so when they discovered a new species of frog that mimics the sounds of bats, they decided to name it after the legendary rocker.
Referred to as "Bat Frog," the creature's official scientific name is Dendropsophus ozzyi, as detailed in the journal Zootaxa. Pedro Peloso and a group of colleagues discovered the unique frog on an expedition to the Amazon rainforest in 2009. The brown and orange frogs have a large, translucent vocal sac that produces a high-pitched sound not so different from that of a bat. Male frogs use the sacs to get the attention of female frogs in the high-above tree tops.
"As soon as I heard its call, I knew it was a new species. I had never heard anything like it," Peloso said.
After the team took the frog back to the lab for study, Peloso says team couldn't stop talking about "Bat Frog." That lead to a conversation about Black Sabbath frontman Ozzy Osbourne, who famously bit the head off a live bat during a concert in 1981 after a fan threw it on stage. Osbourne says at the time he thought it was a fake, rubber bat.
That conversation in turn led to the official naming of the new frog.
Peloso says the frog is likely a common species in the area, but for whatever reason had never been seen before. Peloso discovered the frogs in three separate locations, and brought only a flashlight, a digital audio recorder and a plastic bag to document the species. He doesn't think Dendropsophus ozzyi is in any danger of being close to extinction.
"To find a species, it's a matter of being in the right place at the right time. If the conditions aren't right, it's really easy to miss them," Peloso says.
Osbourne for his part doesn't seem to mind that the .75 inch animal shares his name. He shared the discovery on his official Facebook page.
Photo: Alberto Cabello via Flickr (cropped)