Scientists are using genetics to explore how Central Africa's environmental history over the last 2 million years has shaped patterns of frog species present there today. Their work focuses on identifying refugia, ecosystems that have been stable since the last glacial period, when ice covered much of Earth's surface. Refugia are often compared to "islands" in which certain species are isolated. This research uses comparative biology, studying several species that live in the same areas, to assess how the frogs of these "islands" have changed over time. Shown here: A female Hyperolius ocellatus, a tropical frog species found in small swamps and forests.
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