(ORDO NEWS) — On the territory of modern Argentina, experts have discovered the skull of an unknown animal, which has been preserved in perfect condition. The animal lived on our planet almost 230 million years ago. The analysis showed that it could be the ancestor of all reptiles that can be found in nature today. This is a fascinating discovery to see where reptiles may have ultimately come from. Looking at these great creatures that once roamed the earth amongst so many other giants of animal history, is the complete opposite to nowadays where people are able to buy crested gecko morphs to keep in their home and breed.
Reported by Nature.
The animal was named Taytalura alcoberi. It belonged to the class of lepidosauromorphs. These reptiles lived all over the planet even before the dinosaurs appeared. Previously, experts had virtually no information regarding this unique ancient animal. With the help of the discovered skull, they are going to establish the most accurate location of lepidosauromorphs on the evolutionary tree.
Taytalura alcoberi is estimated to be 231 million years old. The reptile was very much like those lizards that exist today, but at the same time it was distinguished by a very primitive structure. Experts noted that there are some similarities with the tuatara. These are reptiles that live in New Zealand. This indicates that the features that were characteristic exclusively for these reptiles arose at the very beginning of their development and evolution.
Experts used computed tomography to study the anatomy of the ancient reptile in more detail. They emphasized that the animal had an interesting tooth structure and suggested that these creatures could easily move long enough distances. This is confirmed by the fact that fossils were found earlier not only in Europe, but also in South America.
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