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Most people know the famous Cretaceous period of prehistory thanks to the giant dinosaurs that lived back then. Like the deadly beast that everyone knows, the Tyrannosaurus rex. However, during the same period, a lot of other less known but very important creatures also lived. Like the small but very interesting tropical frogs that were running and hopping around. Proof of this stands the extinct Electrorana limoae frog that was recently discovered in Myanmar, stuck in sticky amber for about 99 million years.
The team of scientists that stumbled upon the fossil now have a very valuable and extremely well-preserved proof that these prehistoric frogs lived in tropical forests back then. The journal Nature has recently published more details about this interesting discovery. It’s also interesting that experts believe frogs to be as old as 200-million years, so that “early” period is only like that for us. The problem is that early amphibians are extremely difficult to analyze because of their biology and very small size. They do not fossilize very easily, and a large part of the extinct frog remains are gone. So, experts had no idea where these frogs lived back then, during that period.
An early tropical frog caught in amber
— The Ice Age (@Jamie_Woodward_) June 14, 2018
In present times, it’s clear that frogs are an established tropical species. It may also sound easy to assume that they have always been like this. However, this frog that’s been caught in amber is the first clear evidence of this fact. A team of scientists found it in a tropical area and apart from this, it’s almost complete. Its body, skull, arms and hands are almost intact.
This offers experts an incredible chance to observe how these frogs adapted to their environment. There are still a lot of questions left unanswered about frogs. Like why are their closest living relatives, the midwife and fire-bellied toads, only living in temperate environments? Experts surely need to do more research.
Image source: pixabay