[N] 2006 Anurans from the Lower Cretaceous Crato Formation of Brazil
Barbosa de Moura, G. & Baez, A. (2006) Anurans from the Lower Cretaceous Crato Formation of Brazil: a preliminary report. JVP 26(3) Abstracts pp.39
The Aptian Crato Formation, Araripe Basin, northeastern Brazil, has yielded one of the most significant Early Cretaceous fossil assemblages in the world, being well-known for its taxonomic diversity and remarkable preservation. Plant, invertebrate, and vertebrate remains have been discovered in beds interpreted as representing a lacustrine environment. Herein we describe several anuran specimens recently recovered from the upper limestone beds of the Crato sequence. These remains are mainly characterized by their articulated condition and relative completeness (notably the hindlimbs), suggestive of rapid burial, minimal transport, and absence of post-mortem scavenging. In addition to a pipimorph pipoid, at least two neobatrachian taxa are represented, which are the earliest records of Neobatrachia to date. The probable affinities of one of the neobatrachians indicate not only that basal splitting of this group had already occurred, but that the radiation of hyloids were well underway. The anurans, with the possible exception of the aquatic pipimorphs, may have inhabited the paludal marginal areas of the Crato lake. The Crato anuran record contrasts with other known Early Cretaceous anurofaunas, such as that from the Barremian lithographic limestone locality of Las Hoyas in Spain, which include only “archaeobatrachians” but no neobatrachians.