(ORDO NEWS) — Paleontologists have identified a previously unknown species of lizard by analyzing the contents of a piece of amber mined in a mine in Myanmar. The age of the creature frozen in resin is about 110 million years.
The study was published in Scientific Reports and briefly reported by Sci News. Paleontologists often find well-preserved samples of various creatures and plants in pieces of ancient amber.
This time, amber, which is a trap for a lizard, fell into their hands. Scientists have found that about 110 million years ago, a lizard fell into the resin of an araucaria, got stuck in it and died. Hardening, the resin turned into amber, which well preserved the ancient creature.
It turned out that the remains belong to a species of lizard previously unknown to science, which was named Retinosaurus hkamtiensis.
The find excited scientists. As Aaron Bauer, a professor at Villanova University, points out, experts are looking at a creature right now that is the same age as dinosaurs.
An interesting piece of amber was discovered in the Khkamti region of Patabum, in the immediate vicinity of the jade mines in the northern part of the Central Basin of Myanmar.
It was possible to study a unique sample using computed tomography. Based on the images obtained, scientists even created three-dimensional images of an ancient lizard.
The results of the study also showed that Retinosaurus hkamtiensis is a member of the Scincoidea, a superfamily that today includes skinks, armored lizards, and nocturnal lizards. And the analysis of molecular data showed that this reptile is a relative of the Tepexisaurus and Xantusiidae lines.
“This points to an interesting hypothesis that the current group, known exclusively from North and Central America, may have originated elsewhere than indicated in their hitherto known biogeography,” the researchers write. the early Cretaceous, which in this case occurred somewhere in Gondwana.”
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