"The pumpkin toadlet, which is a frog but not a toad, is so terrible at landing its jumps that its sheer incompetence has become a subject of scientific inquiry." Sabrina Imbler reports for Defector:

This passage elevates the whole thing to high comedy:

> Finding bug-sized frogs in Brazil is an arduous task. Even though a pumpkin toadlet is as bright as a Cheeto, the leaf litter teems with neon fungi and other orange-colored life. “It is extremely hard to catch underneath the leaf litter,” [grad student André] Confetti said. “Especially for me, because I’m colorblind.”



> When Essner saw the footage, he burst out laughing. Then he immediately became consumed by the problem at hand. The toadlets were so far from the belly-flopping tailed frogs on the frog family tree, meaning the problem was not ancestral. So why couldn’t they land a single jump? “It wasn’t a ‘Eureka’ moment,” Essner said. “It was a, ‘What the hell is going on here?’ moment.”

Since Ed Yong's been mostly on the COVID beat, Sabrina Imbler has quickly become one of my must-read science reporters—see their earlier pun-filled piece about gluttonous moray eels nytimes.com/2021/06/22/science

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