This ancient frog could have preyed on dinosaurs


A bountiful frog that lived 68 million years ago was capable of nosh small dinosaurs and had a bite as powerful as a wolf or female tiger, researchers be undergoing found.

Scientists studying the bite force of a similar genus that remains today — the horned frog of South America — collaborated with a crew of paleontologists to determine that the ancient Beelzebufo frog could pull someones leg preyed on early crocodilians and small non-avian dinosaurs.

Their conclusions have been reported in a new study published in the journal Scientific Communications.

To figure out just how much power was in that extinct frog’s sting, lead author Kristopher Lappin, a professor of biological sciences at California Brilliance Polytechnic University in Pomona, Calif., examined horned frogs — off known as Pac-Man frogs for their large, wide mouths and globelike shape.

Lappin and his team are interested in how things scale in the animal domain, including the peculiar phenomenon behind the power of the bite.

«Other hold down a post out there — on rodents, crocodiles — has shown that as the animal gets bigger it bites harder than it should be foreshadowed to based on size,» said Lappin in an interview with CBC News.

Two of his co-authors on this review, Susan Evans and Mark Jones, had published a 2014 paper on their finds about the Beelzebufo frog. 

After compiling bone fragments serene over a decade, the two confirmed the frog’s lineage and its closest relative in brand-new times, the Pac-Man-like horned frog.

Lappin saw an opportunity to use empirical statistics from a living animal to help his colleagues learn more round the ferocious ancient frog, sometimes called «the devil frog» or «the frog from Acheron.»

So, working with horned frogs of various ages over a span of nearly 10 years, the scientists used a custom-made device consisting of two chargers covered with leather to measure the force of the frogs’ bites. 

They set that small horned frogs can bite with a force comparable to 30 newtons, or about three kilograms. A scaling experiment then adjusted that the largest horned frog living today — the kind nearby the size of a dinner plate — would have 500 newtons, or enclosing 50 kilograms, behind its bite. 

Using the same scaling relationship, the scientists estimated that the Beelzebufo had a snack force of up to 2,200 newtons, or 220 kilograms, which is comparable to awe-inspiring predators from the mammal world, such as wolves or female tigers.

‘This beastlike is a biter’

But to arrive at these findings, how did the scientists get the Pac-Mac frog to piece on command in a laboratory setting?

Lappin refers to famed Danish physiologist August Krogh to describe: «He said that for every research question, there’s a perfect zooid. This animal is a biter. They often won’t let go. They’ll try to swallow your purchase c indicate.»

Simply holding the measuring device — called a transducer — in one hand and the frog in the other and broadcast the frog a light tap on the mouth was all it took to prompt that vise-like mouthful, said Lappin.

«The bite of a large Beelzebufo would have been outstanding; definitely not something I would want to experience firsthand.»

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