Rare amphibian dancing frogs just became a little more diverse. However, the unique animal still faces the very real possibility of extinction in the near future.

There were 10 species of the animals known; now 14 more have been discovered. These creatures were discovered in remote mountainous regions of southern India.

The "dance" of the frogs is performed by the males, as part of the mating ritual. This involves foot-flagging, or quickly extending the back legs. Dancing helps the animals be seen by females who may not hear them over the sound of nearby waterways.

Little is known about the reclusive animals, and biologist only confirmed the behavior of egg laying for the first time in 2011. The 14 new species more than doubles the number of known species of dancing frogs.

"It's quite an unexpected discovery of a large number of species," Sathyabhama Das Biju, lead scientist on the study, told [in Tamil] the BBC.

They are found in the Sahyādr, or Western Ghats mountain range, which is habitat to almost one in four animal species known to exist on the subcontinent. The tiny creatures are only about an inch long.

Around 100 male dancing frogs exist for every female, making it essential that males do their best to reproduce. Larger males dance more often than smaller members of the species. The appendages also serve another purpose - they are used to take swipes at other males competing for available females.

This mating behavior occurs as stream levels recede after the monsoon season, which lasts from July to September. Climate change could cause streams to run dry, which could negatively impact the mating habits of these unusual animals, the researchers warned.

Researchers from the University of Delhi, led by S D Biju, found the amphibians during a 12-year series of field studies conducted across hundreds of miles of mountains in the Western Ghats.

Climate in the area is quickly becoming drier as temperatures rise worldwide. Biologists estimate the number of dancing frogs alive today is just one-fifth of the number living in 2006.

Biologists are seeing a drop in populations of the unusual animals. Drier conditions may be contributing to the recent losses.

Growing human population in the nation of 1.2 billion people has resulted in the loss of more than a quarter of the forests in the mountain region. Biologists state 12 species of dancing frogs live in areas in ecological decline. An additional seven are native to areas where humans are building farms and harvesting lumber.

Discovery of the new species was profiled in the journal Ceylon Journal of Science

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