From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Temporal range: Early Jurassic[1]
Prosalirus BW.jpg
Prosalirus bitis
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Anura
Family: Prosaliridae
Genus: Prosalirus
Shubin & Jenkins, 1995
Type species
Prosalirus bitis
Shubin & Jenkins, 1995

Prosalirus bitis is the name given to a fossilized prehistoric frog found in Arizona in 1981 by Farish Jenkins.[2]


The skeleton has primitive features, but has mostly lost the salamander-like traits of its ancestors. It has a skeleton designed to absorb the force of jumping with its hind legs and tail. It also has long hip bones, long hind leg bones, and long ankle bones, all similar to modern frogs, and is as of 2009 the earliest such frog.[1]

The name comes from the Latin verb prosalire, meaning 'to leap forward'. It is thought to have lived during the Early Jurassic epoch 190 million years ago, well before the first known modern frog, Callobatrachus.[3]

As of 2009, only three Prosalirus skeletons have been discovered.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Douglas Palmer; et al. (2009). Prehistoric Life: The Definitive Visual History of Life on Earth (first American ed.). New York City: DK Publishing. p. 247. ISBN 9780756655730.
  2. ^ Geographica; "Jurassic Frog hops into the record book", National Geographic; August 1996, pg.5.
  3. ^ Neil H. Shubin and Farish A. Jenkins, Jr (7 September 1995). ""An Early Jurassic jumping frog"". Nature. 377 (6544): 49–52. doi:10.1038/377049a0.