Scientists have determined the time of the appearance of modern lizards

(ORDO NEWS) — British scientists from the University of Bristol found that modern lizards did not appear in the middle Jurassic, as previously thought, but at the end of the Triassic.

This corresponds to the emergence of a number of new groups of animals and plants after the mass extinction.

Modern snakes and lizards belong to the squamous order (Squamata). Until now, it was believed that this detachment appeared in the middle of the Jurassic period.

British scientists have discovered fossil remains of a reptile in the warehouse of the Museum of Natural History. She was labeled as a member of the genus Clevosaurus, which belongs to the group of beakheads (Rhynchocephalia).

After conducting a CT scan of the remains, the scientists found that the reptile obviously belongs to the scaly ones. This was evident from the structure of the skull, cervical vertebrae, shoulders and teeth.

The only reptile feature that modern lizards do not have is a hole on one side of the bones of the upper limbs, through which nerves and an artery pass. Scientists named the new reptile Cryptovaranoides microlanius.

She also had other interesting, but primitive features: for example, teeth located on the bones of the palate. Despite the unusualness, scientists have already observed this in some snakes (yellowbell, boa, python). The affiliation of the found reptile to the Scaled Ones indicates that

At the end of the Permian period, 252 million years ago, there was a mass extinction. After him, new groups of plants (including modern conifers), insects, as well as turtles, crocodiles, dinosaurs and mammals began to appear.

Fluctuations between wet and dry climates that occurred 232 million years ago also contributed to the mass extinction. Probably, these factors contributed to the development of lizards.

Scientists believe that the fossils they found could be very important in the future. Previously, they were not investigated only because scientists did not have access to CT technology.


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