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Bufo The Destroyer





I’m always interested in stories about herps in the news and was particularly amused when the scientific community presented its latest find a couple of years ago – “Beelzebufo.” I love to hear about new species being discovered, but I normally have to do some digging on the Internet to find any herp related news. This prehistoric discovery, however, was sensational enough to make mainstream headlines and entertaining enough to appear on the nightly news, as I recall.

Scientists in Madagascar dug up some fossil remains of what they described as a giant, dinosaur-eating frog species, comparable to a much larger version of the pac-man frog. What confuses me is the name they chose for it. Bufo means toad, so I would think a better name for this beast would have been Frogzilla or maybe The Froginator. I guess the name must have been catchier.

Anyway, this “devil” frog was a pretty menacing character, eating most anything that came across its path, and anything that it could fit inside its rather large mouth. What I really want to know is if they vocalized as much as pac-man frogs do, and how loud their voices must have been. Check out the video of one such froggy voicing his boisterous displeasure at some unseen agitation. I could just picture a giant version of that frog growling or screaming at a potential predator.

Maybe scientists will need to rethink their long-held hypotheses on the extinction of the dinosaurs. Instead of a meteorite or severe climate change leading to their ultimate demise, perhaps it was the mighty “Beelzebufo” that did them in.

Below massive prehistoric fern fronds, they lay hidden, crouching in wait, for baby dinosaurs to hatch within their abandoned nests. As newborn hatchlings emerged and made their way into the world for the first time, it turned out to be their last, as strong, powerful jaws came down upon them and darkness ensued.

The world may never know…

-The Toad Talker

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Kristin Van Alstine

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