The Fungi Decimating Amphibians Is Worse Than We Thought

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FOR NEARLY 400 million years, amphibians have led a highly successful double life on Earth, foraging on terra and reproducing in water. They survived the extinction of the dinosaurs and any number of other worldwide catastrophes, but they’ve never seen a catastrophe quite like humanity. Already stressed by habitat degradation and the wildlife trade, amphibians are now reckoning with the chytrid fungi, pathogens that humans have spread the world over.

Scientists knew the microbes were bad news—the two separate species of fungi infect an amphibian’s skin, disrupting its ability to breathe and absorb water—but they

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