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| European Spadefoot Toads|
Temporal range: Late Jurassic – Recent
|Pelobates fuscus fuscus|
|The distribution of extant pelobatids (in black).|
The European spadefoot toads are a family of frogs, the Pelobatidae. There is only one living genus, called Pelobates. It has four species. They live in Europe, the Mediterranean, northwestern Africa and western Asia.
The European spadefoot toads are small to large sized frogs. They grow up to 10 centimetres (3.9 in) in length. They burrow in sandy soils. They have a hardened growth on their feet to help in digging. They will come out from the ground during times of rain and breed in pools, which are usually temporary.
All of the species from this family have free-living, aquatic tadpoles. The eggs are laid in temporary ponds that may quickly evaporate. The tadpole stage is very short. They grow to adult form in as little as two weeks. To further speed their growth, some of the tadpoles are cannibalistic, eating their brood-mates to increase their supply of protein.
- Genus †Elkobatrachus
- †Elkobatrachus brocki
- Genus Pelobates
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- Roelants, Kim; Franky Bossuyt (February 2005). "Archaeobatrachian paraphyly and pangaean diversification of crown-group frogs". Systematic Biology 54 (1): 111–126.