Shortlisted poem: Amphibonacci Sequence: an endangered menagerie


Amphibonacci Sequence: an endangered menagerie

317811 splaying and flattened Myer’s Surinam Toads (Pipa myersi) cannot assume a standard terrestrial frog structure

196418 Alabama Waterdogs (Necturus alabamensis) may make love in December at night and surreptitiously

121393 Baw Baw Frogs (Philoria frosti) whip eggs with wet fingers

75025 Townsend’s Dwarf Salamanders (Parvimolge townsendi) lay lungless in bromeliads

46368 Barrio’s Frogs (Insuetophrynus acarpicus) run like home rivers but rarely will they swim

28657 Northern Tinker Frogs (Taudactylus reophilus) carry young in pouches like wet kangaroos

17711 Kroombit Tinker Frogs (Taudactylus pleione) are marked with an X upon their back

10946 Eungella Day Frogs (Taudactylus eungellensis) rattle quietly year round

6765 Sharp-snouted Day Frogs (Taudactylus acutirostris) lacking habitat and syndactyly

4181 pale and sightless Olms (Proteus anguinus) exhibit electrosensitivity

2584 Hamilton’s Frogs (Leiopelma hamiltoni) carry babies on their backs towards extinction

1597 Table Mountain Ghost Frogs (Heleophryne rosei) are, unsurprisingly, difficult to discern

987 Hewitt’s Ghost Frogs (Heleophryne hewitti) cling with mouths to rocks and to existence

610 neotonous Taylor’s Salamanders (Ambystoma taylori) refuse to grow up

377 Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) have no hesitation lending a hand

233 Lake Lerma Salamanders (Ambystoma lermaense) make homes like submerged moles in burrows

144 Leora’s Stream Salamanders (Ambystoma leorae) metamorphose into absent parents

89 Granular Salamanders (Ambystoma granulosum) can blink and breathe

55 Lake Pátzcuaro Salamanders (Ambystoma dumerilii) offer bitter milk

34 Delicate-skinned Salamanders (Ambystoma bombypellum) trace the lines on one another’s limbs with pointed fingers

21 Anderson’s Salamanders (Ambystoma andersoni) crawl for crawfish in Lake Zacapu

13 stubborn Blunt-headed Salamanders (Ambystoma amblycephalum) look as though they’re bruised

8 Hula Painted Frogs (Discoglossus nigriventer) occupy a single pond

5 omnivorous Bullock’s False Toads (Telmatobufo bullocki) skid on rocks in utero

3 Purple Frogs (Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis) mate amongst monsoons

2 Sagalla Caecilians (Boulengerula niedeni) guard eggs with terminal shields

1 Chinese Giant Salamander (Andrias davidianus) lays 500 eggs and hopes

1 Archey’s Frog (Leiopelma archeyi) is a living fossil

no Yunnan Lake Newts (Cynops wolterstorffi), no Gunther’s Streamlined Frogs (Nannophrys guentheri), no Spiny-knee Leaf Frogs (Phrynomedusa fimbriata), no Ainsworth’s Salamanders (Plethodon ainsworthi), no Southern or Northern Gastric Brooding Frogs (Rheobatrachus silus & Rheobatrachus vitellinus), and no Southern Day Frogs (Taudactylus diurnus)

so much is missing



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