WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Horrific deformities in frogs are the result of a cascade of events that starts when nitrogen and phosphorus from farming and ranching bleed into lakes and ponds, researchers said on Monday.
These nutrients from fertilizers and animal waste create dramatic changes in aquatic ecosystems that help a certain type of parasitic flatworm that inflicts these deformities on North American frogs, researchers said.
"You can get five or six extra limbs. You can get no hind limbs. You can get all kinds of really bizarre, sick and twisted stuff," Pieter Johnson, an ecologist and evolutionary biologist at the University of Colorado at Boulder who led the study, said in a telephone interview.
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