The submerged horror show in the Geiseltal area of central Germany was responsible for the deaths of over 50,000 extinct animals, including birds, horses, bats, fish, and hundreds of frogs. Among these extinct animals were horses. Because of its unique geological features and thousands of specimens, the ancient coalfield in Geiseltal in Saxony-Anhalt offers a spectacular glimpse into the development of both plants and animals over a period of millions of years. This is possible because of the coalfield’s location in Geiseltal.
Over 50 million years ago, in the middle of the Eocene, Geiseltal was in fact a swampy temperate forest filled with horse ancestors, large crocodiles, giant snakes and lizards, birds, and a plethora of anurans, which may encompass frogs and toads.
According to the results of prior studies, the depletion of oxygen levels in the water and/or the drying up of lakes may have been the causes of the demise of the Geiseltal frogs. However, until very recently, the real cause of mortality for these animals was a mystery to scientists.
Killed during mating season
Since there is no evidence that the fossil frogs were killed when the marsh dried up or that they were carried in by floods, it is reasonable to believe that they were in healthy condition when they died away. The bones do not show any signs of having been disturbed by hunters, and there is no evidence that they have been consumed by any other kind of animal. The only explanation that makes sense is that they were killed during mating, which is also the only scenario that could have happened.
When female frogs are submerged by the weight of one or even several males during the short but intense mating season, they have a greater risk of drowning than when they are submerged alone. The fact that ancient frogs found in those other areas had the same traits indicates that contemporary frog mating rituals have been there for at least 45 million years, which makes this finding even more interesting.
Tiesha loves to share her passion for everything that’s beautiful in this world. Apart from writing on her beauty blog and running her own beauty channel on Youtube, she also enjoys traveling and photography. Tiesha covers various stories on the website.