Things That Matter

Scientist Find A Coqui Frog Fossil That They Believe Is The Oldest Caribbean Frog Further Highlighting A Prideful Part Of Puerto Rico

Updated April 9, 11:00 a.m. PST: The coqui frog is an important part of Puerto Rico’s history and cultural pride. The frog is a symbol of the Caribbean island. The coquis are found on all of the Caribbean islands but it is only the male coqui frogs in Puerto Rico who sing. The special, yet common amphibian is now making a bigger splash in the world because of their longstanding history on the island.

Update: Scientists have found what might be the oldest Caribbean frog and it is a coqui frog in Puerto Rico.

The coqui frog is an unofficial symbol of Puerto Rico with a long a storied history on the island. It is believed that they have lived on the island longer than any other living creature and welcomed the Taíno people. There is a folklore surrounding the frog that helps to give it its place in history.

Now, the story of the coqui frog got a lot longer and stronger. Scientists recently discovered a coqui fossil that is believed to be around 29 million years old.

Credit: USA Today

“The Puerto Rican crested toad has greenish-brown pebbled skin and marbled golden eyes. It grows 3-4 inches long and has the ability to nearly flatten its body completely to fit into tiny crevices.”

Move over Coquí, the Puerto Rican Crested Toad is making a comeback. That’s right, according to this USA Today story, scientists at the the Detroit Zoo have been growing and caring for over 5,6000 tadpoles that will shortly be making their way back to Puerto Rico, where they are endangered. As amphibians, these toads are close biological relatives (like casi primos) of the Coquí, the official animal of Puerto Rico.

These crested toads were bred in captivity because their numbers are in decline, due to environmental threats. Because of how difficult it is to create the exact conditions under which the toads can and will mate, a nationwide program was launched to create these mating labs for them. From getting the right water, to the right barometric pressure and even playing the right mating calls, scientists are taking all necessary steps.

In a press release from the Detroit Zoo, Dr. Ruth Marcec, director of the National Amphibian Conservation Center, commented about the drastic measures taken to preserve these toads:

“Amphibians are in crisis, with nearly half of the world’s known 7,660 species threatened with extinction due to habitat loss, climate change, pollution, infectious diseases and other factors. Bolstering the population of these amphibians in their natural environment is a triumph for conservation.”

The zoo has been successful in producing over 47,000 of these tadpoles and will send close to 6,000 of them to Puerto Rico, where they’ll hopefully help bring the numbers back up to normal.

Credit: Detroit Zoo

Bringing the toads back will help keep the waters cleaner and keep the ecosystem in balance, even if they do get some side-eye from the beloved Coquí.


[H/T] USA Today / Detroit Zoo

READ: Shocked That Not Everyone In Puerto Rico Looks Like J.Lo, She Created An Account To Open Everyone Else’s Eyes


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Naya Rivera Missing, Presumed Dead While Boating With Young Son

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Naya Rivera Missing, Presumed Dead While Boating With Young Son

Gregg Deguire / Getty Images

“Glee” star Naya Rivera is presumed dead after going missing in southern California. The actress was on a boat in Lake Piru with her 4-year-old son when she went missing July 8 in Ventura County.

Authorities are searching for Naya Rivera after going missing.

Naya Rivera is presumed dead after her young son was found alone in a boat in Lake Piru. The lake is in Los Padres National Forest in Ventura County. Rivera’s son was found asleep on the boat three hours after Rivera rented the boat for the mother-son outing. According to officials, the son said that he and Rivera went for a swim and that she didn’t get back on the boat. CNN reports that the child was wearing a life vest while an adult life vest was found on the boat.

The search was paused overnight between Wednesday and Thursday and resumed as a recovery mission.

Fans do not think that Ventura County Sheriff’s are doing enough in the search for the actress. Emotions are high as fans share their grief and shock at Rivera’s sudden disappearance. According to Deputy Chris Dyer, the water where the boat was found is about 40 feet deep and that wind is a big factor in that part of the lake.

Authorities have classified the search as a recovery in a signal that they believe Rivera to be dead.

A recovery mission means that authorities are looking to recover a body from the lake. The news has devastated Rivera’s friends and family who want her brought home safe. Her son is reportedly doing well and is with relatives as authorities search for his mother in the lake.

Celebrities are sending messages hoping for Rivera to be alive.

Rivera wrote a memoir titled “Sorry, Not Sorry,” which gives an intimate look into her life during and after “Glee.” The actress was open and honest in her memoir bringing up some of the darkest and toughest times she endured and how it shaped her in the years that followed.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Rivera’s loved ones.

This story is developing. mitú will report updates as they become available.

READ: Naya Rivera’s Memoir Talks About Abortion And Anorexia

Family Sets Up GoFundMe To Help Paletero In Chicago Retire

Things That Matter

Family Sets Up GoFundMe To Help Paletero In Chicago Retire

Michaelangelo Mosqueda / GoFundMe

Every now and then there is a video or some news that bubbles up through the noise that makes you feel good. There’s another one of those stories coming out of Chicago thanks to a family helping a local paletero.

A viral video shows a family buying a paletero’s entire cooler of paletas.

The family wanted to help the paletero finish his work for the day because it was Father’s Day. After buying him out, the family decided to go one further for the older mand and set up a GoFundMe to help him retire for the life of selling paletas. Don Rosario, the paletero in the video, is 70 years old and is a staple of the East Side community in Chicago.

A GoFundMe for his retirement is raising a lot of money to help him out.

Selling paletas is exhausting work. Walking around all day long in the heat while trying to sell paletas is a demanding job. This family is taking it on themselves to help Rosario finally retire from the work so he can rest and enjoy his golden years.

There was so much love for Rosario that the fundraiser had to be closed and then reopened.

The family who set up the GoFundMe closed the fundraiser at one point, according to an update. This is because they were waiting to get his contact info and the fundraiser has exploded to more than $40,000. Then, after getting the info and enough interest to keep donating, the fundraiser was reopened. If you want to add to Rosario’s growing pot, you can click here.

The act of kindness that started on Father’s Day is still going and giving people hope.

These are dark times. We are still battling a virus. The U.S. is being forced to finally confront centuries of racial inequality. There are so many things happening that can make us mad. However, stories like these remind us that there is still so much good happening out there.

This is a ray of light in a world that is often so confusing right now.

“We’ve been left speechless, there were people from all over the states donating,” Michaelangelo Mosqueda, the GoFundMe creator, told Block Club Chicago. “It has been really eye-opening to see that when we all come together we do some great things for others.”

READ: Starbucks Barista Who Told A Karen To Wear A Mask Receives More Than $49k In Tips