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Re: ancient giant frog Beelsebufo ampinga
Ah, so the "hyperossified megafrog" is published at last. :-)
So let then the "tear the journalists to teeny tiny pieces" game begin:
Beelzebufo ampinga. (That’s Latin for “armored
ARGH! All that's Latin here is _bufo_ "toad". The specific epithet must be
Malagasy... oh, yes, according to the Reuters article it means "shield"
rather than "armored".
Beelzebufo, which lived between 70 million and 65 million years ago,
might be the largest frog ever, past or present.
The goliath frog of West Africa is the largest of living frogs, grows
more than a foot long,
AFAIK 40 cm even, which would give the two the same length.
The female Beelzebufo was a 16-inch, 10-pound
behemoth. (The male was smaller.)
Will be interesting to read how they found that out.
Only another extinct frog, living about 20 million years in South
America, may have been as large.
That one, referred to *Calyptocephalella* (formerly *Caudiverbera*), is said
to have reached 35 cm.
Its closest living relatives today live not in Madagascar or even Africa
but in South America, a group known as Pac-Man frogs, because their wide
mouths, big stomachs and voracious predatory appetites draw comparison to
the 1980s video game.
Oh. That does sound better than "horned toad" for *Ceratophrys*.
Madagascar detached from Africa 160 million years ago,
Yeah, but not from India, or perhaps I should say the Seychelles.
and South America separated from Africa 100 million years ago.
Yeah, but not from Antarctica.
South America was still connected
to Antarctica as recently as 42 million years ago, but a land bridge
between Madagascar and Antarctica is speculation.
India and Antarctica, that is.
India and the Seychelles only broke apart during the Deccan Traps eruptions.
Ultimately, the Beelzebufo went the way of the dinosaurs, dying out
at about the same time.
The illusion of precision.
The current frogs of Madagascar are not
closely related and must have come from somewhere else.