More than a third of the 7,000-odd living species of frogs and toads are found in rain forests around the world. But the fossil record for amphibians from these kinds of wet, tropical environments has been almost nonexistent, leaving paleontologists with few clues to their early evolution.
Now, lumps of amber dating back to the Cretaceous period have revealed a set of four tiny tropical frogs that lived alongside the dinosaurs, making them the oldest frog fossils of their kind. . .
The 99-million-year-old frogs come from the same amber deposits in northern Myanmar that have produced many exquisite fossils, including a dinosaur tail, a couple of baby birds, intact bird wings, and countless insects. Bits of bamboo, velvet worms, and aquatic spiders also found in this amber suggest that the Cretaceous environment was a rain forest, since similar species are commonly found in wet tropical forests today. . .
CT scans revealed much more about the three-dimensional structure and internal anatomy of the fossils, including evidence that Electrorana was similar to modern frogs in many ways. The animal appears to be an ancient member of one of the oldest lineages of living frogs, represented by modern species such as fire-bellied toads and midwife toads. (Read more from “Scientists: Frogs “Millions of Years Old” Found in Amber … but Look Like Modern Frogs” HERE)