A fossilized frog with a stomach full of eggs found in China is the oldest of its kind, researchers say.
A team of scientists in China has unearthed an ancient frog with a stomach full of eggs. This is reported by Phys.
According to the researchers, it comes from the Lower or Early Cretaceous, which indicates that the frog lived about 100 million years ago, during the time of the dinosaurs.
After scanning the fossil with a CT scanner, scientists discovered that the frog belonged to the species Gansubatrachus qilianensis and was not yet fully mature. However, she is highly capable of reproduction and has a stomach full of eggs arranged in rows, probably in the oviduct. Another cluster of eggs is likely located in the ovary. This arrangement mimics the reproductive process of modern frogs, where eggs pass through paired oviducts.
The researchers ruled out old age as the cause of the frog’s death. They also suggest that the frog did not die from problems with the water source, such as a sudden algae bloom. And the fact that few other frogs have survived in the area eliminates the possibility of another environmental problem.
Scientists suggest that the most likely cause of the frog’s death is male suffocation or weakness caused by active mating.
Previous research has shown that to ensure fertilization of a female’s eggs, males use amplexus – a place where they hug the female to prevent her from moving.
It is known that modern male frogs can remain in amplexus for hours and sometimes days, and this is enough for the female to die of exhaustion or suffocation.
It was previously reported that in Argentina, nearly 96% of southern elephant seal pups died from the H5N1 strain of bird flu.
I am Ben Stock, a passionate and experienced digital journalist working in the news industry. At the Buna Times, I write articles covering technology developments and related topics. I strive to provide reliable information that my readers can trust. My research skills are top-notch, as well as my ability to craft engaging stories on timely topics with clarity and accuracy.