Friday, 29 September 2017

Bite force research reveals dinosaur-eating frog


September 20, 2017 by Robyn Mills
Scientists say that a large, now extinct, frog called Beelzebufo that lived about 68 million years ago in Madagascar would have been capable of eating small dinosaurs.
The conclusion comes from a study of the bite force of South American horned frogs from the living genus Ceratophrys, known as Pacman frogs for their characteristic round shape and large mouth, similar to the video game character Pac-Man. Due to their attractive body colouring, voracious appetite, and comically huge heads, horned frogs are very popular in the international pet trade.
Published today in the Nature journal Scientific Reports, the scientists from University of Adelaide, California State Polytechnic University – Pomona, University of California – Riverside and UCL, University College London found that living large South American horned frogs have similar bite forces to those of mammalian predators.
"Unlike the vast majority of frogs which have weak jaws and typically consume small prey, horned frogs ambush animals as large as themselves – including other frogs, snakes, and rodents. And their powerful jaws play a critical role in grabbing and subduing the prey," says Dr Marc Jones, researcher at the University of Adelaide's School of Biological Sciences and honorary researcher at the South Australian Museum.

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