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The widespread appearance of frogs with deformed bodies has generated much press coverage over the past decade. Frogs with extra limbs or digits, missing limbs or digits, or misaligned appendages raise an alarming question: "Are deformed humans next?" Taking a fresh look at this disturbing environmental problem, this reference provides a balanced overview of the science behind the malformed frog phenomenon. Bringing together data from ecology, parasitology, and other disciplines, Michael Lannoo considers the possible causes of these deformities, tells which frogs have been affected, and addresses questions about what these malformations might mean to human populations. Featuring high-quality radiographic images, Malformed Frogs suggests that our focus should be on finding practical solutions, a key component of which will be controlling chemical, nutrient, and pesticide runoff into wetlands.
Michael Lannoo is Professor at the Indiana University School of Medicine and editor of Amphibian Declines: The Conservation Status of United States Species (UC Press).
"The 1995 discovery of malformed frogs in a Minnesota wetland is one of a few singular events in the history of environmental awareness that has forever changed our views regarding the plight of global biodiversity. Lannoo's book offers a comprehensive and up-to-date assessment of the malformed frog phenomenon and its likely causes, as well as its possible relation to environmentally mediated malformations in humans. It immediately ranks as a definitive source for information regarding malformed frogs in the larger context of global amphibian declines."—James Hanken, Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology, Curator in Herpetology, and Director, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University
"Lannoo's book is unequivocally the definitive work on frog malformations, with broad relevance to the global decline of amphibians, the degradation of natural wetlands, and our own environmental legacy. This scholarly presentation by a top-rate scientist focuses on an irrefutable phenomenon in which frogs are serving as sentinels to which all of society should be listening."—J. Whitfield Gibbons, Odum School of Ecology, University of Georgia
"Malformed Frogs is a scientific detective story with a moral: things aren't often what they seem! Mike Lannoo's engaging prose captures the joys and drudgery of fieldwork as well as the fallible, human side of science, all in the service of understanding the occurrence of deformed amphibians. He convincingly shows that although not one of the commonly advanced explanations can suffice, we know enough right now to solve the problem."—Harry W. Greene, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University