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Possible 25 Million Year Old Frog Found 151

Posted by Zonk
from the ancient-froggie dept.
dispatch writes "A small frog, found preserved in amber, has been found by researchers in Mexico City. The frog, according to the scientists, may be some 25 million years old! According to the article: 'The chunk of amber containing the 0.4-inch frog was uncovered by a miner in southern Chiapas states in 2005 and was bought by a private collector, who lent it to scientists for study.' Unfortunately, it doesn't seem as though the scientists will be allowed to drill into the rock, at the owner's request."
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Possible 25 Million Year Old Frog Found

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  • Huh! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Vinegar Joe (998110) on Monday February 19, 2007 @03:48AM (#18065296)
    The owner sounds like a real toad.
  • What if... (Score:5, Funny)

    by cp.tar (871488) <cp.tar.bz2@gmail.com> on Monday February 19, 2007 @03:51AM (#18065304) Journal

    ... the hole they drill enables the owner to put it on a chain and carry around his neck?

  • by Rik Sweeney (471717) on Monday February 19, 2007 @04:01AM (#18065346) Homepage
    Everyone knows you need a mosquito to resurrect the Dinosaurs. Whoever heard of a blood sucking frog?!

    I want my bloody Dinosaurs!

    * Stamps feet, puts hands on hits and pouts *
    • by jd (1658) <imipak&yahoo,com> on Monday February 19, 2007 @04:08AM (#18065392) Homepage Journal
      ...although Kermit might qualify. However, if they find a Transylvanian vampire duck with a penchant for carrot-juice preserved in amber, they'd damn well better get the DNA, whatever the owner says.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Blood from a very specific kind of frog could have Dino DNA.

      http://pbfcomics.com/?cid=0PBF65005BC-Mosquitos_Bi te.jpg#67 [pbfcomics.com]

      See?
    • by TapeCutter (624760) on Monday February 19, 2007 @04:31AM (#18065514) Journal
      "* Stamps feet, puts hands on hips and pouts *"

      Patience my friend, if it's anything like today's frogs it will have a gut full of mosquitos we can drill into.

      Seriously, if you are interested in amber and bugs (plus a bonus lizard), David Attenbourough's "Amber" doco is a must see.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by dosboot (973832)
      Frogs back then ate flies, just like today. If this frog had poor eyesight he might have eaten a mosquito. Sometimes, after eating a mosquito the frog would rest on the branch of a tree, and get stuck in the sap. After a long time, the tree sap would get hard and become fossilized, just like a dinosaur bone, preserving the frog inside!

      This fossilized tree sap -- which we call amber -- waited millions of years, with the mosquito inside until Jurassic Park's scientists came along. Using sophisticated tech
      • by frup (998325)
        Frogs eat what ever moves... I've had pet Frogs and watched them eat Cicadas and Bees. Didn't seem to harm them. Their guts are pretty strong.
      • by Wateshay (122749)
        Come on, there's no way this frog could have eaten a fly. It was only .4 inches long. Haven't you ever seen a movie? The bugs were all the size of Volkswagens back then. If anything, the fly would be eating the frog.
      • by Joebert (946227)
        The amber might preserve the frog, but I don't think the frog preserves the mosquito.
        If anything, there might be a mixture of DNA after 25 million years.
    • by mgiuca (1040724)
      You do realise that in Jurassic Park they filled in the gaps in the DNA with frog DNA right?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Alas, the frog is too young [wikipedia.org] for dinosaurs anyway, so it wouldn't matter if it was a vampire frog.

  • by Bob54321 (911744) on Monday February 19, 2007 @04:01AM (#18065350)
    .. but usually mosquitoes instead of frogs. I saw a documentary about extracting the blood they ate and making clones of the animals it belongs to. All I remember is to stand still and you will be fine.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Kelson (129150) *

      I saw a documentary about extracting the blood they ate and making clones of the animals it belongs to. All I remember is to stand still and you will be fine.

      Ah, yes! I remember seeing the same historical documents! As I recall, the main conclusion to the research study was that chaos (theory) is the fundamental, driving force in the universe.

      That, and I learned how to recognize a UNIX system.

  • by Marko DeBeeste (761376) on Monday February 19, 2007 @04:06AM (#18065374)
    1) Yelled "Get off my lawn!!" 2) Grabbed a top hat and cane and began singingg "Hello My Baby" 3) ?? 4) Prophet!
    • by dartarrow (930250)
      ...After which it was nailed to an 'X' and worshiped as Frog God by 4 Stereotypes. But of course Everyone know that Salamander Jesus is the only true god..
    • by Fredbo (118960)
      But is there free beer?
  • But the all important question:

    Does it taste like chicken?

  • but i think in this case, the fiction that is jeff goldblum and sam neil going 60 mph in a jeep and scared out of their wits by what they are being chased by has a lot more going for it than the reality of a 0.4 inch frog
    • by Yetihehe (971185)
      (with Steve Irwin voice)Wooow, look at that frog, iy have 0.4 inch, but it's a real monster...(end)
    • Unless its hypnotoad and its going to control our minds! Thats pretty terrifying.

      Cig? No thanks I'm trying to quit.
  • by Bellum Aeternus (891584) on Monday February 19, 2007 @04:18AM (#18065440)
    Kudos to the scientist. From the photo I would have called it a grasshopper. Anyways, this is very cool news. If the owner (or future owner) allows scientists to drill in and get a small sample of DNA we'll be able to link it to a modern variety of frog and perhaps other animals; and it will be an amazing lineage of how DNA gets morphed over time to adapt to the environment. I'll need to do some searching to see how the frog's environment differs from 25 million years ago to now.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 19, 2007 @04:21AM (#18065462)
    The Earth is only 6,000 years old, so this ancient frog must be from another planet!
    • by stud9920 (236753)
      No, God played a trick on you, it made it look like it is 25m years old to challenge you faith.
  • by logicnazi (169418) <logicnaziNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday February 19, 2007 @04:24AM (#18065488) Homepage
    There are a lot of interesting non-invasive techniques that can be used to analyze the frog for now. Sure no DNA but the frog has made it 25 million years, I'm sure the DNA isn't going to get much worse in the next thousand years or so.

    Right now DNA technology is in its infancy. Eventually someone who inherits or buys the frog will let the more advanced DNA technology of the day at the frog and we will find out about it then.

    Nothing is being lost we just need a bit of patience.
    • > There are a lot of interesting non-invasive techniques that can be used to analyze the frog for now.

      After I read the article, my first question was how can they date this frog without cracking the amber? The owner would not allow them to drill a hole for now. They dated the amber instead?
      • Probably based on how deep in which layer it was discovered. Often times the 24 million year old stuff is on top of the 25 million year old stuff. :) I also think they can tell what type of tree the amber came from. For example, if the species of trees around producing amber 300 million years ago is different to the ones producing amber 25 million years ago and the ones producing amber fossils from 30 to 200 million years back didn't grow in that geographic area, etc.
    • by Joebert (946227)
      I don't know about you, but I ain't gettin any younger.
      Crack that fucker open !
  • by jigyasubalak (308473) on Monday February 19, 2007 @04:25AM (#18065492)
    ..to be kissed and to be turned into a princess.
    I hope someone gives it that much chance.
    • by operato (782224)
      man you should keep your sick fantasies to yourself! kissing frogs... *turns around and kisses a frog* nothing to see here...
    • by noigmn (929935)
      Who'd want a 25 million year old princess? She'd be more than a little wrinkly.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        >Who'd want a 25 million year old princess? She'd be more than a little wrinkly.
        It could be Princess Leia? I wouldn't say no, especially in that metal bikini number.
      • by Joebert (946227)
        Yeah, but think of what her 401kBC would be worth today !
    • Please! Let's get our ancient Eurocentric fable memes right.

      And you should have said ... to be kissed and the world will be shocked to find there's an older prince than Charles.

      -or- ... to be kissed by Diana, who is currently unavailable.

      Not that I would say either of those things, which would be in poor taste.

  • Half inch~! That is one tiny ass frog.
    • by x1n933k (966581)
      In Ditches and bongs all over Nova Scotia we have the Northern Spring Peeper. It isn't much more than 1/2 if that. [J]
      • I've heard toads are hallucinogenic, but I don't think frogs in your bong are a good idea.
        • by Joebert (946227)
          Nonsense !
          Watching them dance on the bubbles is rather entertaining.
          Though, I'm still not 100% sure there was actually frogs in there, or if I was just high.
  • Losers (Score:5, Informative)

    by 4D6963 (933028) on Monday February 19, 2007 @04:31AM (#18065516)

    However, he expressed doubt that the stone's owner would allow researchers to drill a small hole into the chunk of amber. "I don't think he will allow it, because it's a very rare, unique piece," said Carbot.

    Oh my god losers, they didn't even ask him, they just say "oh well I don't think he'll accept".

    it doesn't seem as though the scientists will be allowed to drill into the rock, at the owner's request.

    I love the smell of a misleading summary in the morning.

    • by ashwinds (743227)
      I can just see the ad line "Collectors item - pristine 25 Million year old frog, certified by the @@@@ Lab". From the looks of it, the collector got a bunch of scientists to do the marketing for him. Now that the interest will get built up, the value will go up. Also, he makes sure that there is enough value for the next buyer as well by ensuring they don't drill it up now.
    • by ryanguill (988659)
      What the hell are you doing reading TFA?? This is slashdot, you read the summary, you hit reply and you try to make a joke. Any links in the summary are just there for looks.
      • by Joebert (946227)
        *SLAP*

        Hoe what the fuck I told you about doin that shit !?
        You better get your cocksucker back out there makin my muthafukin money & quit runnin that shit in here.
  • There are worse things one can find fossilized near Mexico City.

    Surprisingly, "The Black Scorpion" had special effects from O'Brien and not Harryhausen.
  • All glory to the Hypnofrog!
  • by G3ckoG33k (647276) on Monday February 19, 2007 @04:59AM (#18065648)
    Check out the 3D pics at http://digimorph.org/ [digimorph.org]. Once that is done, and no relevant information was found, one might proceed to persuade the owner. To take a destructive step first is just unnecessary.
    • by Mr2cents (323101)
      When I first read the summary, I thought "the selfish bastard!". But after thinking about it for a while, I've changed my mind. I'm all for science (scientia vincere tenebras), but in this case, what mind-boggling discoveries will we miss? What earth-changing technologies will we fail to develop? Most likely, none. Someone will write a paper about it that most likely will be lost in the vast ocean of scientific publications, and that's it. Just leave the man his toy.
  • by PostPhil (739179) on Monday February 19, 2007 @05:00AM (#18065652)
    ...the frog has been preserved for millions of years, another 50 isn't going to make a difference. The scientific community could just wait for the owner to die, then they can get the amber and drill anyway.

    (...or they could just ask nicely.)
  • Touchwood (Score:3, Funny)

    by clickety6 (141178) on Monday February 19, 2007 @05:08AM (#18065688)
    Touchwood? Is that thou, Touchwood? Hast thou returnethest to Catweazle?
  • Crunchy? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Scarletdown (886459) on Monday February 19, 2007 @05:09AM (#18065700) Journal
    The big question is, is it a crunchy frog, or might it just be some sort of mock frog?

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by laejoh (648921)

      Those who modded this Offtopic obviously don't know their Monty Python [orangecow.org] stuff!

    • by udippel (562132)
      Uuh, hurried here to place this joke myself.
      2nd post, so to say.

      Chapeau, Scarletdown !

      Though, 'The Times They Are A-Changin' ... ... now any non-geeky person may mod ...

      Saves me a hare-brained '-1', though. Offtopic: njet.
      Wait, there is still 'redundant'. - Ought to have posted as AC. Too late ...
  • "Unfortunately, it doesn't seem as though the scientists will be allowed to drill into the rock, at the owner's request."

    Well just drill in anyway, replace the frog with an animal cracker and hope he don't notice.



    Also - Jurassic Croak. Groan
  • by giafly (926567) on Monday February 19, 2007 @05:25AM (#18065758)
    These [uky.edu] are [ambericawest.com] found [microscopy-uk.org.uk] quite [ambarazul.com] often [cartage.org.lb].

    If you found a frog in most products you'd be disgusted. Here it's a good thing. Anyone know who does their PR?
    • by mgiuca (1040724)
      I don't believe they're usually 25 million years old.
    • by Ralconte (599174)
      According to a scientific journal article I once read (can't remember the title -- maybe Museum Curator, or something like that), frogs and lizards in amber tend to decompose a little bit before the amber preserves them. And the photos of this frog certainly fit that description. So yeah, this is not exactly pendant material.

      There are a lot of frauds out there, however. Hollow out some amber, insert animal remains, fill in with resin (copal is the semi-fossilized sap of trees and melts easily or you can u
  • They should call it the "Dick Clark" toad.
  • Get with the program people. A frog in amber is soooooooo much less tasty than scorpions in lollipops http://www.firebox.com/index.html?dir=firebox&acti on=product&pid=618&src_t=sbk&src_id=lollipop [firebox.com]
  • "You've found Nurhachi?"
  • Erm that really ought to read 25 million year old corpse of a frog or something. They got me real scared for a second ...
  • I think that I'm with the owner. Genetic sequencing technology is still rapidly developing. Eventually, it will probably be possible to sequence the frog's entire genome in a few days from a small sample, so let's wait to drill.
  • Moo (Score:2, Funny)

    by Chacham (981)
    Scientist: Frog could be 25 million years old

    It could also be 35 million years old. Change the headline!

    Who made up this 25-million year thing anyway, and why. It sounds to me like some sensationalist news reporter asked:

    Reporter: Is it possible the frog is old.
    Scientist: It is very like to be very old, considering it is preserved in amber.
    Reporter: Could it be a million years old?
    Scientist: Perhaps.
    Reporter: How about a billion years old?
    Scientist: That is less probable as frogs weren't around quite yet

  • Prehistoric stuff encapsulated in amber:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-4BQqbyYaQ [youtube.com]

Mathemeticians stand on each other's shoulders while computer scientists stand on each other's toes. -- Richard Hamming

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