Giant frog links South America, Madagascar

Giant frog links South America, Madagascar  discovery of a giant frog in Madagascar has challenged certain geological assumptions. The frog's (Beelzebufo ampigna) presence there lends credence to the contested theory that there was a land bridge between South America and Madagascar via Antarctica during the Late Cretaceous Period (65 to 70 million years ago), says paleontologist David W Krause, the lead author.

Krause and his team found the first fossil fragments of the frog in 1993. "It has taken us 15 years to find enough fragments to figure out what the skull looked like and get some idea of the rest of the body structure,' Krause told Down to Earth. The closest living relatives today are the ceratophrys or "horned toads' that are endemic to South America.

"The finding presents a real biogeographical puzzle,' says Krause. "We're asking ourselves,