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Palaeobatrachus NT

Palaeobatrachus ('ancient frog') was a primitive frog from the Cretaceous and Tertiary period (130-5 million years ago), Central Europe. Although not closely related, it resembled the present day African clawed toad Xenopus.

Its skeletal remains are plentiful in freshwater sediments in western Bohemia, in Geiseltal (west Germany) and in east Germany. They are sometimes preserved very well indeed, with impressions of internal organs, muscles, nerves, blood vessels and epidermis, and with traces of coloring. Tadpoles and eggs have also been found. Palaeobatrachus had a relatively broad skull the shape of a Gothic arch. Its body was relatively large, ranging from 8 to 10 centimetres (3.1 to 3.9 in) in length, and the female was usually larger than the male (sexual dimorphism).These frogs lived permanently in water. Their bag-shaped lungs, on the dorsal side of their body, enabled them to remain submerged for long periods. They inhabited through-drainage basins or swamps where brown coal deposits were formed. Like the African clawed toad, they probably lived on small crustaceans, insect larvae and small fish and themselves provided sustenance for many other animals.The climatic change at the beginning of the Pliocene was a real catastrophe for Palaeobatrachus, which required warmth, and, being specialized, was unable to adapt itself to the altered conditions though it managed to survive in the Netherlands until the Pleistocene. They live with the same time as Albanerpeton a salamander-like lissamphibia that they lived both (130-5) Cretaceous to Pleistocene.

In The Land Before Time

Palaeobatrachus are first seen in The Land Before Time II: The Great Valley Adventure, during the ending credits. They are slimmer, thinner and less primitive looking than Triadobatrachus and are refered to as Hoppers in the franchise's terminology. More Palaeobatrachus are briefly seen in The Great Day of Flyers, during Cera's song Things Change. In The Land Before Time IV: Journey through the Mists, they appear when Littlefoot and Ali are playing in the water. One also appears in The Land Before Time XIV: Journey of the Brave, where it hops onto Littlefoot's nose during the opening narration. Some also appear in the TV series, such as a cloud shaped like a Palaeobatrachus in The Meadow of Jumping Waters.

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