A freshwater interbed of the Yemen Volcanic Group in central western Yemen yielded impressions of numerous, articulated, mostly complete frog skeletons. Recent dating of the volcanics and the stratigraphic position of the fossil bearing bed in the sequence support a Late Oligocene age for the frogs. These frogs are described as a new species of Xenopus, a genus that is today mostly confined to subsaharan Africa, and they provide evidence of the former, wider distribution of this genus on the Afro-Arabian Plate. The new species, X. arabiensis, differs from other Xenopus in its long maxilla and maxillary tooth row. It resembles X. muelleri in its dentate, azygous vomer and prominent, cone-shaped, distally-pointed prehallux, but differs from X. muelleri in having an atlantal intercotylar notch and longer distal prehallux bone. Climatic changes during the Neogene probably led to the extinction of Xenopus on the Arabian Peninsula; however, the timing of this event is not certain.
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