However, Electrorana was the most well-preserved of the bunch with recognizable features including a skull, forelimbs, part of a backbone and a partial hindlimb, all measuring less than an inch. Unfortunately, many of the details used by experts to discern how a frog is related to others of his species are missing from the fossil bones.
Blackburn said he hopes more frogs in amber will be discovered to provide further details. “We don’t have a lot of single-species frog communities in forests. It seems extremely unlikely that there’s only one. There could be a lot more fossils coming," he explained.
The current bones do provide some insight into Electrorana’s potential living relatives, however, they are confusing. The fossil frog shows similarities to fire-bellied and midwife toads, species living in temperate ecosystems inconsistent with the tropical ones known to be the Electrorana’s home.
The fossils are now held in the Dexu Institute of Paleontology in Chaozhou, China. A 3D-printed replica of Electrorana limoae can be found at the Florida Museum and additional models of the fossils can be seen at 3D data open-access repository Morphosource.
The research was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities, the National Geographic Society, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the University of Florida.
Via: Florida Museum