Scientists claim extinct 'Pac-man' frog was dinosaur killer: study

Updated 2017-09-21 14:30:53 Xinhua

A new study has revealed on Thursday that a long extinct frog known as Beelzebufo Ampinga, that lived in Madagascar over 68 million years ago, was a dinosaur killer.

The claim stems from a study of the bite force of South American horned frogs, otherwise known as Pacman frogs due to their similarity in looks to the world-famous video game character of the same name.

The study found that the popular frogs in question, have a bite strength of 30 newtons (N), or 3 kg, along with a 4.5 centimetre head width.

"Unlike the vast majority of frogs which have weak jaws and typically consume small prey, horned frogs ambush animals as large as themselves," Marc Jones, researcher at the University of Adelaide's School of Biological Sciences said on Thursday.

This includes other frogs, snakes, and rodents. And their powerful jaws play a critical role in grabbing and subduing the prey.

Jones said that the data could then be scaled up to the size of the extinct Beelzebufo frog which would result in a bite strength of 2,200 N, which is on par with some of the fiercest predators currently on the planet - such as wolves and tigers.

"At this bite force, Beelzebufo would have been capable of subduing the small and juvenile dinosaurs that shared its environment." Jones said.

"This is the first time bite force has been measured in a frog," Kristopher Lappin, a professor of Biological Sciences at California State Polytechnic University, and joint researcher on the project said on Thursday.

"Speaking from experience, horned frogs have quite an impressive bite, and they tend not to let go. The bite of a large Beelzebufo would have been remarkable, definitely not something I would want to experience firsthand."

The Beelzebufo - also known as the "devil frog," "devil toad," and "frog from hell" - is said to have been 41 centimetres in length, and weighed in at over 4.5 kilograms, making it larger than any other frog known to man.

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