Letter | Published:

Xenopus from the Palaeocene of Brazil and its zoogeographic importance

Naturevolume 254pages4850 (1975) | Download Citation



THE African frog Xenopus (a member of the family Pipidae), formerly found in Miocene1,2 and Recent deposits in Africa, is described here from the Palaeocene ( 60 Myr) of Brazil. Extant pipids are aquatic freshwater frogs, occurring in sub-saharan Africa (Xenopus, Hymenochirus, Pseudhymenochirus) and northern South America (Pipa, Protopipa, Hemipa). They display a mosaic of primitive and specialised characteristics and are generally placed as an ancient offshoot of early anuran stock. Both fossil and recent occurrences of the Pipidae are consistent with an ancient distribution exclusively across the southern continent3,5.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1

    Ahl, E., in Die Diamantenwuste Südwest-Afrikas (edit. by Kaiser, E.), 141 (D. Reimer, Berlin, 1926).

  2. 2

    Vergnaud-Grazzini, C., Notes Serv. geol. Maroc, 27, 43 (1966).

  3. 3

    Estes, R., and Reig, O., in Evolutionary Biology of the Anurans (edit. by Vial, J.) (University of Missouri Press, Columbia, 1973).

  4. 4

    Paula Couto, C. de, Notas prelim. Estad. Div. Geol. Minor. Bras., 75, 1 (1953).

  5. 5

    Tinsley, R., J. Zool., 169, 1 (1973).

  6. 6

    Douglas, R., Moullade, M., and Nairn, A., (edit. by Tarling, D., and Runcorn, S.), in Implications of Continental Drift for the Earth Sciences, vol. 1, (Academic New York, 1973).

  7. 7

    Creer, K., ibid.

  8. 8

    Estes, R., and Wake, M., Nature, 239, 228 (1972).

  9. 9

    Reig, O., Ameghiniana, Rev. Assoc. paleontol. Argentina, 2, 73 (1961).

  10. 10

    Paterson, N., Proc. zool. Soc. Lond ., 115, 327 (1945).

  11. 11

    Mumsy, L., Copeia, 3, 584 (1972).

  12. 12

    Brain, F. de., et al., C. r. hebd. Séanc. Acad. Sci. Paris, 279, 469 (1974).

Download references

Author information


  1. Department of Zoology, San Diego State University, San Diego, California, 92182



  1. Search for RICHARD ESTES in:

About this article

Publication history



Issue Date



Further reading


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.