Archeological Evidence for Dietary Use of Bigfoot Leopard Frog (Lithobates megapoda) in Postclassic and Colonial Central Mexico



Analysis of archaeofaunal remains recovered from several geographically and culturally linked postclassic sites in the Laguna de Magdalena Basin, Jalisco, Mexico, reveals that indigenous agrarian people of this area incorporated substantial quantities of the robust bigfoot leopard frog (Lithobates megapoda) (Taylor 1942) in their diet during both prehispanic and colonial occupations. Even though residents of this area combined hunting and fishing with cultivation of both native and colonially introduced flora and fauna, more frog remains were recovered than any other small species. Furthermore, it appears that exploitation of the frog was most intensive during the colonial occupation. As in modern cuisine, the hindlimbs were the preferred portion. Mortuary frog effigies suggest that the frog may also have had iconic value.