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Image of the Week
Siren intermedia | Lesser Siren | Photo by Jake Hutton

Nine of the 10 modern families of salamanders occur today in North America. But often overlooked are several other families of salamanders that occurred during the Mesozoic and Cenozoic of North America. One of those, the Batrachosauroididae, occurred along the coastal plain of the Western Interior Seaway during the Late Cretaceous and then persisted along the Southern coastal plain into the Miocene. Bourque and colleagues (2023) describe newly discovered fossils of Batrachosauroides from the Late Miocene of Florida. This reveals that this now extinct family persisted in the Florida peninsula until 9 or 10 million years ago, a time of global cooling. Although Batrachosauroides is now extinct, it co-occurred with other salamanders that still live today in Florida (Ambystoma, Siren), which adds new insight into the timing of turnover of the North American salamander fauna.

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Current number of amphibian species in our database

As of (Feb 24, 2024)

8,729

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Total Amphibian Species by Order

222 Caecilians 816 Salamanders 7,691 Frogs