Name: Beelzebufo (Devil toad).
Named By: Evans, Jones, & Krause - 2008.
Classification: Chordata, Amphibia, Anura, Neobatrachia, Hyloidea, Leptodactylidae, Ceratophryinae.
Species: B. ampinga (type).
Size: 41 centimetres long, possibly slightly bigger.
Known locations: Madagascar - Maevarano Formation.
Time period: Maastrichtian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Single specimen.
The chunky body and wide mouth of Beelzebufo meant that this prehistoric frog could have gulped down almost any small lizard or mammal that was unfortunate to come across it. Beelzebufo likely would have hunted on dry land and been a 'sit and wait' predator. This would involve Beelzebufo relying upon its colouration to blend into the ground, possibly near a clearing or track way, and waiting for its prey to arrive. Parts of the skull suggest the possible presence of scutes on at least the face of the living animal.
Although the fossils of Beelzebufo appear in what is now Madagascar, which, still attached to India, had split from the coast of Somalia in the earliest stage of the late Jurassic, it superficially resembles its closest living relatives, the horned toads of South America, of which the largest today grow to 15 cm (5.9 in) long.
As West Gondwana (South America) rifted away from East Gondwana, opening from the north and spreading southward, open marine conditions in the widening South Atlantic obtained by about 110 Mya, isolating the amphibians on either side; the last common ancestor of Beelzebufo and the South American Ceratophryidae is most likely to have existed before that date and probably before seafloor-spreading demonstrates the earlier isolation of Madagascar-India, a very long time undocumented by fossils.
Alternatively, the history of archaeogeography could be rewritten: Richard Lane, program director in NSF's Division of Earth Sciences, said, "The occurrence of this frog in Madagascar and its relatives' existence in South America provides strong evidence that the supercontinent Gondwana 'disassembled' during the latest part of the Cretaceous
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