Tuesday 19 November 2013

A new species of Frog from the Early Cretaceous Jehol Biota of Liaoning Province, China.

The earliest known Frogs in the fossil record hail from the earliest Triassic of Madagascar, though it is thought the group probably has its origins deeper in the Permian. A number of Frogs have been described from the Early Cretaceous Jehol Biota, a fossil Lagarstätte (rich fossil deposit) from northeastern China, in which a wide variety of excellently preserved fossils laid down in a lacustrine environment (lakes and associated waterways) in the Early Cretaceous, between 133 and 120 million years ago.

In a paper published in the journal PLoS One on 26 July 2013, Liping Dong of the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology of the Chinese Academy of SciencesZbyněk Roček of the Department of Palaeobiology at the Institute of Geology of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Yuan Wang, also of the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology and Marc Jones of the Research Department of Cell and Developmental Biology at University College London, describe a new species of Frog from the Lujiatun Bed of the Yixian Formation at Qianyangou in Liaoning Province (about 125 million years old), as part of a wider study of Frogs of the Jehol Biota.

The new Frog is placed in the previously described genus Liaobatrachus, and given the specific name zhaoi in honour of Ermi Zhao, a prominent Chinese herpetologist (scientist studying Reptiles and Amphibians). Liaobatrachus zhaoi is described from four reasonably intact specimens, preserved in three dimensions.

The four specimens referred to the species Liaobatrachus zhaoi. Dong et al. (2013).