Don’t Keep This Frog in Your Pocket

on April 15, 2010

The lobby of the Stoney Brook Medical Center in New York has a new addition: a frog the size of a squashed beach ball (about 16 inches long, or 40 cm)! The fossil of this frog was dug up in Madagascar and has been named Beelzebufo ampinga, which means “armored devil toad.” The frog is estimated to have weighed about nine pounds. Paleontologists have reconstructed the frog fossil from 75 different fossils.

The frog on display in the medical center has been sculpted out of clay and painted with acrylic paint. Fossil technicians studied the fossil in order to create the model. Of course, they did not know the real colors of the original frog, so they made a guess. They made their frog model a sand color, to blend in with its surroundings. The technicians also decided to make its tongue pink. It has turned out to be very scary looking. Some children think it looks big enough to eat a person.

Some scientists believe this frog is related to the Pac-Man frog, a modern species that is found in South America. The Pac-Man video game is based on this South American frog. The Pac-Man frog digs its rear end into the ground and waits for a lizard or snake to wander by, then it attacks and eats its prey. For this reason, it is called an ambush predator.

What size do you suppose the original created frogs were? If they were as large as Beelzebufo ampinga, then maybe Noah would have needed a little more room for frogs on the Ark than we originally thought!