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Biologists Have Named A New Tree Frog Species After Ozzy Osbourne

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When Ozzy Osbourne bit the head off a bat in a 1981 concert, he never could have imagined that the event would be commemorated decades later by metalhead scientists, who discovered a weird frog while on an expedition in the Brazilian Amazon.

"As soon as I heard its call, I knew it was a new species. I had never heard anything like it," Pedro Peloso, one of the frog's discoverers, told National Geographic:

The male frogs also have an unusually large vocal sac, a nearly transparent piece of skin that inflates to produce its unique high-pitched chirping sound. Male tree frogs in general make loud calls to communicate with females in distant treetops, but the new species is the first known to sound like a bat.


The researchers captured 21 specimens of the tiny, 0.75-inch brown-and-red amphibian and brought them back to their lab. They kept referring to it as the "bat frog," which led to them talking about being fans of Black Sabbath and the infamous onstage bat decapitation. (Osbourne later said he thought the bat was rubber.)

And thus a new taxonomic designation was born: Dendropsophus ozzyi, which is described in the November 6th issue of the journal Zootaxa.


Based upon the number of specimens collected, Peloso believes the frog is widely distributed throughout the Amazon rainforests. The fact that nobody found it before, he says, is a testament to the extraordinary biodiversity of the region. It's a matter of being in the right place at the right time. Or, to quote Black Sabbath, "I need someone to show me the things in life that I can't find."