Family Friday

Suborder Archaeobatrachia

The suborder Archaeobactrachia is the ancient frog and toad suborder. The suborder contains only four families with under 30 total species in total.  These frogs are considered ancient because they have characteristics common with extinct frogs and toads and that are not present in the other frog families. The common thing that all frogs and toads of Archaeobactrachia have in common is free vertebrae instead of fused vertebrae. Fused vertebrae means that the vertebrae is attached to the ribs while free vertebrae are not fused.

The four families of this suborder are Ascaphidae – Tailed frogs, Bombinatoridae – Fire bellied toads,  Alytidae – Painted frogs and Midwife toads, and Leiopelmatidae – New Zealand primitive frogs.

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