The giant frog Beelzebufo, or "devil frog," was the largest frog ever to live on Earth.
Courtesy of SUNY-Stony Brook
Giant Fossil Frog Found in Madagascar
News story originally written on February 18, 2008
If you went looking for frogs today on the island of Madagascar, the largest one you could find would be just over four inches long. But if you went looking for frogs more than 65 million years ago, you could have found some giants.
A team of researchers discovered the fossils of the largest frog ever found. They named it Beelzebufo. It was 16-inch across and 10-pounds and hopped around Madagascar 65 to 70 million years ago.
Paleontologist David Krause discovered the bones of the giant frog and put the frog's skeleton back together.
This frog was a strong animal. It had a protective shield, a very wide mouth and strong jaws. Beelzebufo was able to kill lizards and other small animals. Maybe the frog could have eaten baby dinosaurs.
Beelzebufo is in the group of frogs that have huge mouths – mouths large enough for the nickname: 'pac-man' frogs.
Fossil frog experts Susan Evans and Marc Jones discovered that Beelzebufo is probably related to frogs that are alive today in South America. That’s a long way away from Madagascar an island off Africa's southeast coast. It may be evidence from the time when, because of plate tectonics, Africa, South America, and Antarctica were connected forming a supercontinent.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
on science education, ranging from evolution
, classroom research
, and the need for science and math literacy
You might also be interested in:
Fossils are evidence of what life was like long ago. The oldest fossils are over three billion years old and the youngest fossils are about 10,000 years old. Scientists that study fossils know that creatures...more
Many forces change the surface of the Earth over time. The largest force that changes our planet's surface is movement of Earth's outer layer in a process called plate tectonics. As shown in this picture,...more
Scientists have learned that Mount Hood, Oregon's tallest mountain, has erupted in the past due to the mixing of two different types of magma. Adam Kent, a geologist at Oregon State University, says this...more
The Earth's mantle is a rocky, solid shell that is between the Earth's crust and the outer core. The mantle is made up of many different reservoirs that have different chemical compositions. Scientists...more
Some faults look strong and like they wouldn’t cause an earthquake. But it turns out that they can slip and slide like weak faults causing earthquakes. Scientists have been looking at one of these faults...more
The sun goes through cycles that last approximately 11 years. These solar cycle include phases with more magnetic activity, sunspots, and solar flares. They also include phases with less activity. The...more
Studying tree rings doesn't only tell us the age of that tree. Tree rings also show what climate was like while the tree was alive. This means that tree rings can tell us about climates of the past. Two...more