Temporal range: 145–0 Ma Lower Cretaceous to recent
|African dwarf frog|
|Distribution of Pipidae (in black).|
These frogs are exclusively aquatic and have numerous morphological modifications befitting their habitat. For example, the feet are completely webbed, the body is flattened, and a lateral line system is present. In addition, pipids possess highly modified ears for producing and receiving sound underwater. They lack a tongue or vocal cords, instead having bony rods in the larynx that help produce sound. They range from 4 to 19 cm (1.6 to 7.5 in) in body length.
The fossil record for pipids is relatively good, with 12 extinct species known. Six of these are placed in the extant genus Xenopus, the remainder in extinct genera. These fossils are known from Africa, South America, and the Middle East back to the Lower Cretaceous.
- Hymenochirus - dwarf clawed frogs
- Pseudhymenochirus - Merlin's dwarf gray frog or Merlin's clawed frog
- Xenopus - common clawed frogs
- Silurana - tropical clawed frogs
- Pipa - Surinam toads
- Gissi, Carmela; Diego San Mauro, Graziano Pesole and Rafael Zardoya (February 2006). "Mitochondrial phylogeny of Anura (Amphibia): A case study of congruent phylogenetic reconstruction using amino acid and nucleotide characters". Gene 366 (2): 228–237. doi:10.1016/j.gene.2005.07.034. PMID 16307849.
- Roelants, Kim; Franky Bossuyt (February 2005). "Archaeobatrachian paraphyly and pangaean diversification of crown-group frogs". Systematic Biology 54 (1): 111–126. doi:10.1080/10635150590905894. PMID 15805014.
- San Mauro, Diego; Miguel Vences, Marina Alcobendas, Rafael Zardoya and Axel Meyer (May 2005). "Initial diversification of living amphibians predated the breakup of Pangaea". American Naturalist 165 (5): 590–599. doi:10.1086/429523. PMID 15795855.