Platymantis megabotoniviti Worthy, 2001
Viti Levu giant ground frog (proposed)
Taxonomy & Nomenclature
Last record: Holocene
The Viti Levu Giant ground frog was much longer, but also stouter, than either of the two living Platymantis species which inhabit Fiji, suggesting it had a predominantly terrestrial lifestyle. It would therefore have been much easy prey for the Rattus exulans and R. praetor which were introduced by Melanesians some 3,000 years ago, as compared with the two living Platymantis sp. And although no unequivocal evidence of a Rattus-induced extinction of P. megabotoniviti has been produced, this is probably the cause of its extinction on account of a seeming lack of any other possible cause.
Viti Levu, Fiji
Biology & Ecology
Holotype: MNZ S37057A ("left ilium")
Type locality: "Qara-ni-vokai (Cave of the iguana) at Volivoli, Viti Levu, Fiji. Grid Reference on 1:50,000 series map,L29 659713, Edition 1, 1992; Longitude 18°09'39" S, latitude 177°28'53"E"
Paratypes: (all are L or R ilia)
Hundreds of elements have been referred to Platymantis megabotoniviti. For an exhaustive list see (Worthy, 2001:668-670).
Original scientific description:
Worthy, Trevor H. (2001). A New Species of Platymantis (Anura: Ranidae) from Quaternary Deposits On Viti Levu, Fiji. Palaeontology 44(4): 665-680.
Worthy, Trevor H. and Anderson, Atholl. (2009). Results of palaeofaunal research, pp. 41-62. In: Clark, Geoffrey Richard and Anderson, Atoll (eds.). The Early Prehistory of Fiji. Terra Australis 31. Canberra: ANU E Press. 437 pp.
Worthy, Trevor H., Anderson, Atholl J. and Molnar, Ralph E. (1999). Megafaunal expression in a land without mammals – the first fossil faunas from terrestrial deposits in Fiji (Vertebrata: Amphibia, Reptilia, Aves). Senckenbergiana Biologica 79(2): 237-242.