An Upper Eocene Frog from the Dominican Republic and Its Implication for Caribbean Biogeography

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Science  04 Sep 1987:
Vol. 237, Issue 4819, pp. 1215-1216
DOI: 10.1126/science.237.4819.1215


A frog of the leptodactylid genus Eleutherodactylus is reported from Eocene amber found in the Dominican Republic. It is the first described amphibian fossil in amber, and the oldest complete lissamphibian fossil from Mesoamerica (Central America and Mexico). Dating of the amber matrix indicates that by the end of the Eocene a diverse fauna was present in the Antilles, much earlier than has generally been proposed. The presence of this and other amber fossils from this same age suggests that Tertiary patterns of landmass movements were significant in determining the present distribution of species.

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