Argentinian paleontologists have discovered fossilized remains of a rare frog species that lived two million years ago, the science and technology agency at La Matanza National University announced on Monday.
“We know very little about prehistoric frogs and toads,” said Federico Agnolin, researcher at the Natural Science Museum.
“Frogs and toads are very sensitive to climate and environmental change, making it an important source for understanding past climates.”
The fossil was discovered 44 meters (144 feet) underground when a well was dug in San Pedro, about 180 kilometers north of the capital Buenos Aires.
It was a “very small humerus (arm bone) of a tiny amphibian, distinct from horned frogs and tree frogs,” said Angolin.
Despite the size of the fossil, it was possible to identify the frog because Anuras, the group of tailless amphibians to which frogs and toads belong, has a unique structure at the distal end of the humerus that forms the elbow joint, said Angolin.
This peculiarity gave the frogs great agility.
“The discovery of a new species of amphibian since the end of the Pliocene-beginning of the Pleistocene is a huge boon for Argentine paleontology,” he added.
The Pleistocene geological era began about 2.6 million years ago.
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