Posted by: Loren Coleman on February 19th, 2008
The illustration depicts the ancient frog species Beelzebufo, or “devil frog,” staring down what the National Geographic says is the largest frog species living in Madagascar today. Actually, it looks more like a common toad to me. Today, the largest living Madagascar frog is just 4 in (10 cm) long. The world’s largest frog is the African Goliath frog (Conraua goliath) from central Africa: 13 in (33 cm) in body length (legs excluded), and weighs up to 7 lb (3 kg).
A pencil is included for scale as apparently pencils did not exist 70 million years ago.
Evidence of a giant frog found in Madagascar has led researchers to speculate that an ancient land bridge may have connected the island off southern Africa with South America.
Beelzebufo, or the “devil frog,” was 16-inch (40 cm) long and probably weighed around 5 kg (11 lb)! The fossil frog lived 65 million to 70 million years ago during the Cretaceous Period, during the last 5 million years of dinosaur existence, according to researchers from the University of California Los Angeles and Stony Brook University in New York.
It’s size rivalling a beach ball, the frog was a fierce predator, capable of eating small animals and perhaps even dinosaurs that had just hatched.