Tiny saunas help frogs fight off chytrid fungus

Frogs fighting a deadly fungal infection could get a boost from tiny brick saunas.

By spending time in a sun-warmed shelter, green and golden bell frogs infected with chytrid (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) warmed up enough to fight off the fungal pathogen, researchers report June 26 in Nature.

Chytrid has contributed to population declines in at least 500 amphibian species (SN: 3/28/19), including the green and golden bell frog (Litoria aurea), which has disappeared from 90 percent of its original Australian habitat. The fungus attacks an amphibian’s skin, blocking electrolytes and fluids from flowing into the body. The loss of these minerals can eventually cause heart failure.

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