When exposed to a dangerous virus, frogs respond by breeding younger. Credit: Bernie, via Wikimedia Commons
Frogs reproduce younger to escape virus - science news headlines daily

Ranaviruses affect frogs (Rana temporaria) but no information is available about how they affect population demographic structure. Now, a group of researchers showed that frogs are breeding at a younger age when exposed to the viruses.

The study was performed in the UK and it compares populations of frogs exposed to the virus with unaffected groups. While the youngest breeding frogs in disease-free populations are four years old, frogs in virus-exposed groups breed as young as two.

The decrease in breeding age is a mechanism to beat the virus however, it increases the risk of local extinction. The ranavirus can cause severe skin sores and internal bleeding. It is usually fatal.

Read the full story: University of Exeter
Scientific publication: PeerJ