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"Gollum" on the brink of extinction


Jul 27 2018, 10:04pm

Post #1 of 2 (1005 views)
"Gollum" on the brink of extinction Can't Post

No, it doesn't reside in the depths of the Misty Mountains, or mutter "My Precious, my precious..." in the dark.

However, the possible fate of a particular toad from Malaysia, that gets its name from everyone's favorite duplicitous, conniving, yet lovable, precious-coveting character from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, is concerning scientists after becoming the latest to join a list of animals at great risk of extinction.

This amphibian, which is known as Ansonia smeagol, was given its name due to the similarities scientists saw between it and Professor Tolkien's famous creation.

Says Dr. Chan Kin Onn of the University of Singapore:
"Smeagol from Lord of the Rings is a semi-aquatic creature..."

"[It has] large eyes, occurs up in the mountains and has long thin limbs. And funnily enough his digits are also extended. These are all characters that this little stream-toad also has."

The danger comes from the effect of tourist resort expansion on its habitat of upland streams at a mountaintop in mainland Malaysia.

You can read more about this little guy, also known as the "Precious Stream-Toad", as well as other species to make the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List, at BBC News.


Jul 29 2018, 3:20pm

Post #2 of 2 (945 views)
Incredible! [In reply to] Can't Post

I love how science has been incorporating Tolkien's world into our world. It's sad we're learning about this now that poor, poor Smeagol is being threatened; but, hopefully, it's not too late to preserve even a little corner of their homeland now that the discovery of the threat is out there.


We have been there and back again.

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