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Type: Journal article
Title: Anurans from the Lower Cretaceous Jehol Group of western Liaoning, China
Author: Dong, L.
Roček, Z.
Wang, Y.
Jones, M.
Citation: PLoS One, 2013; 8(7):e69723-1-e69723-17
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Issue Date: 2013
ISSN: 1932-6203
Statement of
Liping Dong, Zbyněk Roček, Yuan Wang, Marc E H. Jones
Abstract: BACKGROUND: To date, the Lower Cretaceous Jehol Group of western Liaoning, China has yielded five monotypic genera of anurans, including Liaobatrachus grabaui, Callobatrachus sanyanensis, Mesophryne beipiaoensis, Dalianbatrachus mengi, and Yizhoubatrachus macilentus. However, the validity and distinctness of these taxa have been questioned. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDING: We provide a comprehensive analysis of the Jehol frogs that includes a re-examination of the published taxa as well as an examination of a number of new specimens that have been collected over the past 10 years. The results show that the five previously named taxa can be referred to three species of one genus-Liaobatrachus grabaui, L. beipiaoensis comb. nov. and L. macilentus comb. nov.. The diagnosis of Liaobatrachus is revised, and a new diagnosis is provided for each species of this genus. We also establish Liaobatrachus zhaoi sp. nov., on the basis of a dozen well-preserved specimens from a new locality. This taxon is distinguished by a unique combination of characteristics, including relatively long hind limbs, a rounded rather than triangular acetabulum, and a gradually-tapering cultriform process of the parasphenoid. In addition, an unnamed frog from a higher horizon, which has narrow sacral diapophyses and particularly long legs, is different from Liaobatrachus and represents another form of anuran in the Jehol Biota. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Comparisons with other Mesozoic and extant anurans and the primary phylogenetic analysis both suggest that Liaobatrachus is a member of the anuran crown-group and forms a polytomy with leiopelmatids (Ascaphus and Leiopelma) and the remaining crown-group anurans (Lalagobatrachia).
Keywords: Animals; Anura; Phylogeny; Geography; Time Factors; Paleontology; China
Rights: Copyright: © 2013 Dong et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
RMID: 0030008632
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0069723
Appears in Collections:Ecology, Evolution and Landscape Science publications

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