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Species of the Week:
Scaphiopus couchii | Couch's Spadefoot


Amphibian News
Spadefoot toads (family Scaphiopodidae) are a familiar part of the North American frog fauna and relatively common in the North American fossil record. Chen et al. (2016) fill in an important gap in our understanding of this group with a fossil from the late Paleocene of Mongolia. Their work suggests that the two genera of living spadefoots (Scaphiopus and Spea) last shared an ancestor near the end of the Cretaceous. They also suggest that the presence of this early spadefoot frog in Asia supports dispersal into North America via Beringia in the Early Cenozoic.

Current number of amphibian species: 7,511 (Feb 8, 2016) Newly added species