Earth Science News  





. Giant Frog Jumps Continents

Beelzebufo - the frog from Hell.
by Staff Writers
London, UK (SPX) Feb 19, 2008
A giant frog fossil from Madagascar dubbed Beelzebufo or `the frog from Hell' has been identified by scientists from UCL (University College London) and Stony Brook University, New York. The discovery of the 70 million year-old fossil frog, of a kind once thought unique to South America, lends weight to a new theory that Madagascar, India and South America were linked until late in the Age of Dinosaurs.

The new frog resembles living Horned toads (ceratophryines or 'pac-man frogs') in having a squat body, huge head and wide mouth. With a body length (not counting the legs) of up to 40 cm - longer than a rugby ball - and a weight of around four kilos (10 pounds), it is more than twice the size of its largest living relatives. The fossil, published in the journal PNAS, enters the Malagasy history books alongside meat-eating dinosaurs, plant-eating crocodiles and giant snakes, all very different from the present day animals of Madagascar.

Professor Susan Evans of the UCL Department of Cell and Developmental Biology says: "This frog, a relative of today"s Horned toads, would have been the size of a slightly squashed beach-ball, with short legs and a big mouth. If it shared the aggressive temperament and `sit-and-wait" ambush tactics of living Horned toads, it would have been a formidable predator on small animals. Its diet would most likely have consisted of insects and small vertebrates like lizards, but it"s not impossible that Beelzebufo might even have munched on hatchling or juvenile dinosaurs.

"Madagascar has a mainly endemic frog fauna whose history has generated intense debate, fuelled by recent phylogenetic studies and the near absence of a fossil record. Our discovery of a frog strikingly different from today"s Madagascan frogs, and akin to the Horned toads previously considered endemic to South America, lends weight to the controversial paleobiogeographical model suggesting that Madagascar, the Indian subcontinent and South America were linked well into the Late Cretaceous. It also suggests that the initial spread of such beasts began earlier than that proposed by recent estimates."

Community
Email This Article
Comment On This Article

Related Links
University College London
Darwin Today At TerraDaily.com




Tempur-Pedic Mattress Comparison

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News
Migratory birds disappear in China storms
Beijing (AFP) Feb 17, 2008
About 100,000 migratory birds disappeared in recent fierce snow storms in eastern China, state media reported Sunday.

.
Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
  



  • Thousands of Hong Kong factories in China may close: report
  • Trailers given to US disaster victims unsafe: CDC
  • 911 Calls Offer Potential Early Warning System
  • Robotic Rats To Aid In Rescue Missions

  • Nitrous Oxide: Definitely No Laughing Matter
  • Into The Abyss: Deep-Sixing Carbon
  • Fossil Record Suggests Insect Assaults On Foliage May Increase With Warming Globe
  • New Greenland Ice Sheet Data Will Impact Climate Change Models

  • CIRA Scientist Among Authors Of Book Celebrating 50 Years Of Earth Observations From Space
  • Indonesia To Develop New EO Satellite
  • Russia To Launch Space Project To Monitor The Arctic In 2010
  • New Radar Satellite Technique Sheds Light On Ocean Current Dynamics

  • The Future Of Biofuels
  • Coal Gasification - Myths, Challenges And Opportunities
  • GreatPoint To Build Natural Gas Manufacturing Facilities In Powder River Basin
  • Michigan Laser Beam Believed To Set Record For Intensity

  • Deadly bird flu strain confirmed in Hong Kong
  • Hundreds dead in Burkina meningitis epidemic: ministry
  • Penn Researchers Discover New Target For Preventing And Treating Flu
  • Globe-Trotting Black Rat Genes Reveal Spread Of Humans And Diseases

  • Giant Frog Jumps Continents
  • The Superhighways And Hotspots Of The Shark World
  • Small Sea Creatures May Be The Canaries In The Coal Mine Of Climate Change
  • Migratory birds disappear in China storms

  • Fish Devastated By Sex-Changing Chemicals In Municipal Wastewater
  • Shipping emissions three times as much as estimated
  • Heavy Manufacturing, Steel, And Coal-Fired Power Stations To Close For 2008 Summer Olympics
  • SKorea to scrap waste dump sites in Japan-controlled waters

  • No Easy Answers In Evolution Of Human Language
  • Scientist Postulates 4 Aspects Of Humaniqueness Differentiating Human And Animal Cognition
  • Humans Inhabited New World's Doorstep For 20,000 Years
  • Human Deaths From Shark Attacks Hit 20-Year Low Last Year

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2007 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement