Based on new research, scientists have come to the conclusion that an extinct gigantic frog species from Madagascar would have been capable of eating small dinosaurs thanks to its strong bite. This was discovered by studying South America’s horned frog or the Ceratophrys cranwelli.
The Beelzebufo, a gigantic frog
Through joint research from scientists from the University of Adelaide, University of California – Riverside, California State Polytechnic University – Pomona, and University College London, it has been observed that the now extinct South American horned frog had a similar bite strength to that of modern-day mammalian predators.
The species, sometimes known as the Pacman frog for its distinctive round shape, has been known to hunt other animals of a roughly equal size. It could do so by using its incredibly powerful jaws to crush and eat its prey.
Unlike most frogs, that have weak jaws that pursue equally vulnerable prey, the horned frog was equipped to hunt things that could fight back. Research was conducted on small horned frog specimens with a head diameter of 4.5 centimeters. These were found to be capable of producing a bite strength of 30 Newtons.
Scaling that up to larger species (with 10-centimeter heads) would account for a 500 Newton bite force. This is comparable to other mammals and reptiles of similar size. These experiments are the first time bite strength has been measured in a frog species.
They lead scientists to believe that an extinct gigantic frog species hailing from Madagascar, aptly named “Beelzebufo”, would have had a bite strength of about 2200 Newtons. This is as strong as the modern wolf, making the extinct frig equipped to hunt and consume small dinosaurs during prehistoric times.
The Beelzebufo may be an extinct frog species, but this gigantic frog and its strong bite lives on in its descendants. Whether it be a species equipped for eating small dinosaurs or small lizards, it would be smart to steer clear of these dangerous amphibians.
Study findings are available in a paper in the Scientific Reports.
Image Source: Wikimedia
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