Wednesday, February 20, 2008

missed my calling?

if i could have gone around naming creatures like this, maybe i would have kept up with those science classes at Duke
BADASS FROG: Behold the mightiest attack frog known to man. Thank goodness it lived 65 or 70 million years ago. A U.S.-led team spent 15 years assembling a nearly complete skeleton of Beelzebufo ampinga—literally, "armored frog from hell"—a 10-pound, 16-inch beast that heaved across what is now Madagascar. Equipped with a bony head shield, big mouth and powerful jaws, researchers propose that Beelzebufo (shown here in an artist's rendering) was capable of slaying small vertebrates such as lizards and perhaps hatchling dinosaurs. In girth, the animal surpasses the 13-inch goliath frog of West Africa, the reigning heavyweight frog champ at 7 pounds, and may have been the largest frog ever. Its existence also bolsters the notion that Madagascar and South America were linked during the Cretaceous period, perhaps by Antarctica: The armored amphibian is closely related to a group of aggressive South American hoppers known as "pac-man frogs" for their large mouths, the group reports in this week's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. 

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