Beelzebufo

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Beelzebufo
Temporal range: Upper Cretaceous, 70 mya
Artist's depiction of Beelzebufo
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Anura
Suborder: Neobatrachia
Superfamily: Hyloidea
Family: Leptodactylidae
Subfamily: Ceratophryinae
Genus: Beelzebufo
Evans, Jones, & Krause, 2008

Beelzebufo was a large frog discovered in the Upper Cretaceous of Madagascar. The media called it 'Devil Toad', and 'The Frog From Hell'. The frog lived some 70 million years ago.[1]

With a body length of 40 cms (16 inches) the frog was larger than any living frog.[2] Its weight in life was about 4 kg (9 lbs).[3]

Relationships[change | change source]

The bones of the skull roof shows a rugous (wrinkled) external surface, indicating that at least parts of the head may have borne bony scutes.

The Beelzebufo was a member of the horned toad sub-family, the Ceratophryinae. Living members of the family are found only in South America, but were once more widely distributed in Gondwana. Both South America and Madagascar were part of the supercontinent Gondwana before it broke up in the Cretaceous.[1]

Habits[change | change source]

Beelzebufo was an ambush predator whose wide mouth let it eat relatively large prey, perhaps even juvenile dinosaurs.[3] It probably lived in warm, seasonally dry habitats with occasional pools of water. Its modern relatives live in similar habitats, and can burrow.[1]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Evans, Susan E.; Jones, Marc E. H.; David W. Krause (2008). "A giant frog with South American affinities from the late Cretaceous of Madagascar". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 105 (8): 2951–2956. doi:10.1073/pnas.0707599105. PMC 2268566. PMID 18287076.
  2. The largest living species of frog, the Goliath frog, can be up to 32 centimetres (13 in) in body length.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "'Frog from hell' fossil unearthed". BBC News. 2008-02-18. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7251666.stm. Retrieved 2008-02-18.