Named By: Tschudi - 1839.
Classification: Chordata, Amphibia, Anura, Palaeobatrachidae.
Species: P. occidentalis, P. robustus. P. hiri?
Size: About 10 centimetres long.
Known locations: Canada, France, Germany and the USA. Possibly also Romania too.
Time period: Maastrichtian of the Cretaceous through to the Aquitanian of the Miocene.
Fossil representation: Many individuals including tadpoles and eggs. Some specimens are so well preserved that impressions of soft tissues such as internal organs have been preserved.
was an ancient frog that has often been related as being similar to the
African clawed toad genus Xenopus. Palaeobatrachus
is thought to have
been a primarily aquatic frog which means that it rarely left the
water. Like with other frogs, Palaeobatrachus
predators of invertebrates as well as possibly vertebrates too. In
turn Palaeobatrachus were likely prey for any
predator that frequented
water systems of the time.
Palaeobatrachus fossils are known from the late Cretaceous of the United States and Canada, while most of the European fossils from locations in France and Germany are early Miocene in age. The prospect of a new species, P. hiri from Romania however might push the temporal range of Palaeobatrachus all the way to the Serravallian stage of the Miocene. Ultimately however, Palaeobatrachus seem to have succumbed to the effects of climate change as the tropical forests of Europe and North America were replaced by cooler open grasslands during the Miocene.
Relatives of Palaeobatrachus include Albionbatrachus and Pliobatrachus.
- New discoglossid and palaeobatrachid frogs from the Late Cretaceous of Wyoming and Montana, and a review of other frogs from the Lance and Hell Creek Formations, R , Estes & B. Sanchiz - 1982.
- Palaeobatrachid Frogs from the Earliest Miocene (Agenian) of France, with Description of a New Species, S. Hossini & J. -C. Rage - 2000.