Frogs hopped around the Antarctic 40 million years ago

Fossil remains of an ancient helmeted frog, as shown in this illustration, were found in Antarctica.

(CNN)Forty million years ago, the Antarctic was home to a species of frog, adding to evidence that the now icy region was once much warmer and temperate.

The fossils of the first modern amphibian to be discovered in Antarctica were found on Seymour Island, part of the continent closest to the tip of South America.
The creature was tiny -- around 4 cm to 5 cm long -- but was very similar in appearance to the five living species of helmeted frogs that hop around Patagonia today, according to a new study that published Thursday in the journal Scientific Reports.
    Palaeontologists at the frog site on Seymour Island. Mors said that curious penguins would come and watch them work.
    "They looked like today's frogs. No different. Our frog was rather small but this is in the range of the living ones, although most of the living ones are bigger," said Thomas Mörs, a senior curator at the Swedish Museum of Natural History and an associate professor of paleontology.
    He said the cold-blooded creature would likely have hibernated in mud during the region's long, dark winters.
    Mörs explained that the frog would have lived in a temperate, humid rain forest very similar to those found in the Chilean Andes, where temperatures don't vary much season to season