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Date of Award

Spring 2005

Document Type

Restricted Thesis: Campus only access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Dr. Rafael de Sa


The endemic South America toad genus Melanophryniscus consists of about 18 currently recognized species. Only a few studies have examined the morphology of the genus Melanophryniscus, consequently there is not much data available on the morphology of this group. In this study the morphology of three species of Melanophryniscus--M. atroluteus,, M. fulvoguttatus, and M. montevidensis--was examined and compared using clear and double staining techniques to differentiate bone and cartilage. Herein we present the major osteological differences we found among these species. Overall, species differed in size and extent of ossification; e.g., M. montevidensis exhibited the largest extent of ossification. Notable differences between species of Melanophryniscus and other anurans are the lack of a quadratojugal and the fusion of the clavicles, coracoids, and scapular bones. These differences represent specializations for the genus Melanophryniscus. The character states of the frontoparietal bones and the palatine bones suggest that M. fulvoguttatus is more specialized than M. atroluteus and M. montevidensis.