STL Science Center

STL Science Center

22 September 2015

At the Bottom of the Paper Pond

Papers that come out for a new species beyond description usually fall into a few categories. There are phylogenetic and familial papers. These can be interesting reads as they take the descriptions one step further and discuss how those descriptions relate to other fossil and sometimes living taxa. There are "new material" papers that add to the description of the original material and sometimes add to our knowledge of the skeletal anatomy (rarely but wonderfully they can also add to our knowledge of the soft anatomy) of animals. The description of new material of Beelzebufo is significant because amphibians have a sketchy fossilization ability as is. The original material of Beelzebufo is actually nicely preserved and somewhat substantial, but additional material is never a bad thing. Strangely, searching Google Scholar, the hits on Beelzebufo very quickly become papers with snippets about the frog in Spanish, Italian, and what I think may be Norwegian (it is certainly Germanic). However, the three papers above are more than enough for a day's reading on a giant frog; if there is such a thing. Reading about giant frogs is actually quite interesting and fun.

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