Saturday, July 14th, 12-6 pm
In the 20th century the frog Xenopus laevis was widely used as a pregnancy test. Unbeknownst to anyone at the time, Xenopus can carry – without harm to itself – the chytrid fungus, which is deadly to most frogs. Shortly after Typhoid Mary spread disease among the people of New York, Xenopus started spreading chytrid around the world, killing most frogs on contact and resulting in the extinction of a number of amphibian species in the wild. Right now about 3,900 amphibians, over half of all species known to science, are endangered. Help us discover if Xenopus is still spreading chytrid around New York City. Please visit your local pet shop and buy a Xenopus frog! New York City pet stores sell them cheap, sometimes under the name “Underwater Frog”, or “African Clawed Frog”.
Choose the color you’d like—white albinos and speckled brown frogs are both available. Write down the phone number and address of your local store. Then bring the frog(s) to Proteus on Saturday, July 14th between 12 and 6pm. We’ll test to see if your frog has the fungus, and show you how to cure your new friend if he or she is a carrier. This crowd-sourced research project will be part of an academic study. All participants are potential coauthors of a paper that will be submitted for publication.