Lizard reptile – Phrynosoma http://phrynosoma.org/ Tue, 27 Sep 2022 05:27:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://phrynosoma.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/profile-150x150.png Lizard reptile – Phrynosoma http://phrynosoma.org/ 32 32 Florida: A gigantic reptile crawls on the window of a house https://phrynosoma.org/florida-a-gigantic-reptile-crawls-on-the-window-of-a-house/ Thu, 22 Sep 2022 04:18:48 +0000 https://phrynosoma.org/florida-a-gigantic-reptile-crawls-on-the-window-of-a-house/ WATCH: Giant lizard climbs window of Florida home Frank Crowder captured video of a large lizard attempting to climb a house window in Apopka, Florida. APOPKA, Florida. – Incredible video from Apopka, Florida shows a gigantic reptile climbing on a man’s door. Reptile expert Mike Stefani, who specializes in monitor lizards, says his first thought […]]]>

Incredible video from Apopka, Florida shows a gigantic reptile climbing on a man’s door.

Reptile expert Mike Stefani, who specializes in monitor lizards, says his first thought upon seeing the video was that someone’s pet has probably escaped.

“IIt’s pretty irresponsible to let any type of animal escape your care,” Stefani said. “As a responsible animal and reptile owner, you need to know where your animals are at all times. Those few people – and there are really very few – who are irresponsible really give us a bad name.”

Stefani says the reptile in the video is likely a savanna monitor, which is an invasive species from Africa.

“It’s a medium-sized African Varanus. A Varanus is a monitor lizard. And they’re insectivores, so they eat a lot of scorpions, insects, molluscs like snails,” Stefani explained. “It’s not those big Komodo dragons that are going to tear your dogs and cats apart.”

Mike Stefani of Mike’s Monitors shows off a monitor lizard

Stefani says if you see one, you can call Fish and Wildlife, or you can try to trap it yourself.

“They’re really slow. Even the savages, they’re really not that aggressive,” Stefani said. “Just to be on the safe side for those who weren’t sure, if you went with a large beach towel and threw it at the animal – once you put a beach towel on that animal, you can safely catch it by the back of the head and the base of the tail, then you can control it very easily.”

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Saudi Arabia’s Reptile Land shows creepy crawlers and creepers aren’t monsters https://phrynosoma.org/saudi-arabias-reptile-land-shows-creepy-crawlers-and-creepers-arent-monsters/ Wed, 21 Sep 2022 20:15:52 +0000 https://phrynosoma.org/saudi-arabias-reptile-land-shows-creepy-crawlers-and-creepers-arent-monsters/ ALULA: In the historic epicenter of cross-cultural exchange, between the majestic mountains of AlUla, popstar Jason Derulo took to the stage to deliver an unparalleled performance during the second edition of the Azimuth Music Festival last weekend, the saudi national day. The American artist wowed the crowd with some of his most recent hits including […]]]>

ALULA: In the historic epicenter of cross-cultural exchange, between the majestic mountains of AlUla, popstar Jason Derulo took to the stage to deliver an unparalleled performance during the second edition of the Azimuth Music Festival last weekend, the saudi national day.

The American artist wowed the crowd with some of his most recent hits including ‘Swalla’ and ‘Jelebi Baby’ as well as some of his old favorites such as ‘Solo’ and ‘In My Head’.

The concert took place in the same valley that hosted the Desert X contemporary art exhibition earlier this year, ensuring a special musical experience for nationals and visitors on the occasion of the celebration of the 92nd National Day of Kingdom.

American popstar Jason Derulo performs for a Saudi audience to celebrate the 92nd National Day at the Azimuth festival in AlUla, which ran from September 22-24. (A photo by Huda Bashatah)

“Anytime you can come to a place and have an experience…it makes the show so much better because it’s something completely different that you can’t find anywhere else,” Derulo told Arab News in an interview. exclusive.

Historically known as a strategic crossroads for trade and pilgrimage routes, the settlement harbors hidden gems such as the Narrow Valley Oasis and the unique Elephant Rock. Part of the province of Medina, AlUla is a symbol of the cultural richness found throughout the eastern region of Saudi Arabia and beyond.

Whenever I can say how amazing this place is, I jump at the chance, and this is another one of those opportunities.

Jason Derulo

“Coming through the rock and all the sand is almost like a getaway from it all, and bringing all that luxury in the middle of the desert is unlike any other experience,” he said.

“Here you can really see all the stars, you can see all the rocks, the mountains, you get a piece of this world. Then you bring the highest level of luxury to it and it’s just a blend of worlds that you can’t get anywhere else,” Derulo added.

American popstar Jason Derulo performs for a Saudi audience to celebrate the 92nd National Day at the Azimuth festival in AlUla, which ran from September 22-24. (A photo by Huda Bashatah)

Derulo has performed across the region, headlining in Saudi Arabia for the first time in 2018 at the Saudia Diriyah E-Prix alongside Enrique Iglesias, the Black Eyed Peas and Egypt’s Amr Diab.

“I have been performing for a very long time and I can say that this experience was unique, unlike all the experiences I have had. I’ve played all over the world and even coming here today I pulled out my phone – I was like, ‘This is amazing,'” he said.

The three-day Azimuth Festival is one of many initiatives, part of Vision 2030, aimed at positioning the Kingdom as a tourism hub.

QUICKFACTS

• The American artist delighted audiences with some of his most recent hits, including ‘Swalla’ and ‘Jelebi Baby’, as well as some of his older favourites, such as ‘Solo’ and ‘In My Head’.

• The concert took place in the same valley that hosted the Desert X contemporary art exhibition earlier this year, ensuring a special musical experience for nationals and visitors on the occasion of the celebration of the 92nd National Day of the Kingdom.

• Jason Derulo hailed efforts to globalize local talent and create new avenues of entertainment, recalling his performance on the LIV Golf professional tour, funded by the Public Investment Fund.

“I was actually one of the first performers, if not the first performer, to perform with an integrated crowd of men and women here, and I feel honored and blessed to be a little piece of history. “

“Whenever I can get the word out about how amazing this place is, I jump at the chance, and this is another one of those opportunities,” Derulo said.

“I love that people from all over the world have come here and made this home because it really is a special place. They have a sense of pride, even a little piece of property you would think they are from here and they know so much about the history,” he added.

The artist believes that Saudi Arabia is on the verge of becoming one of the “greatest” attractions in the world.

“It’s something that’s only just begun, although people are just starting to see it, I’m sure it’s been in the works for so long. There’s still so much room for growth, but it’s already amazing,” he said.

Bringing in a diverse range of local and international artists was a key objective of the event, in conjunction with the MDLBEAST entertainment festival and the Royal Commission for AlUla.

Ahmed Alammary, the Saudi DJ and creative head of MDLBEAST, told Arab News that the celebration is an opportunity to create opportunities for cultural exchange with international artists while reaching out to local audiences.

Derulo hailed efforts to globalize local talent and create new avenues of entertainment, recalling his performance on the LIV Golf professional tour, funded by the Public Investment Fund.

“It becomes a melting pot, and it’s beautiful to see… I think Saudi Arabia is really pushing the boundaries in terms of tourism and technology. When you think of the arts when you think of entertainment, Saudi Arabia has become very high on the list because it has really taken a stand and really taken a giant leap in this world,” Derulo said.

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Discovery of fossils of prehistoric reptiles that resemble modern lizards! https://phrynosoma.org/discovery-of-fossils-of-prehistoric-reptiles-that-resemble-modern-lizards/ Mon, 19 Sep 2022 12:56:09 +0000 https://phrynosoma.org/discovery-of-fossils-of-prehistoric-reptiles-that-resemble-modern-lizards/ Rhynchocephali are a unique group of creatures that evolved from lizards during the Triassic period. September 19, 2022: 150 million years ago, a prehistoric reptile similar to today’s lizards slithered around what is now Wyoming. The discovery of the insectivorous animal, an old rhynchocephalus, could shed light on the survival of its current relative, the […]]]>

Rhynchocephali are a unique group of creatures that evolved from lizards during the Triassic period.

September 19, 2022: 150 million years ago, a prehistoric reptile similar to today’s lizards slithered around what is now Wyoming. The discovery of the insectivorous animal, an old rhynchocephalus, could shed light on the survival of its current relative, the tuatara.
Opisthiamimus gregori is the name of the reptile. It looks like a lizard, but unlike the New Zealand tuatara. Lizards are squamates, an order of reptiles that also includes snakes and worm lizards. Rhynchocephali are a unique group of creatures that evolved from lizards during the Triassic period.
Opisthiamimus fossils have been discovered in Wyoming, atop what was once a allosaurus nest. Paleontologists discovered four samples at the site, including the fairly complete articulated skeleton of the reptile. To research published in the Journal of Systematic Paleontology describes previously undiscovered species.

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Rhynchocephali are a group of reptiles related to lizards, according to the research team. At their peak, between 200 and 145 million years ago, these lizard-like creatures ruled the globe. They varied in shape and size and performed a wide range of tasks, from aquatic hunter to terrestrial prey. However, for some strange reason unknown to reptile specialists, the rhynchocephali soon began to decline, plunging ever closer to extinction.

In a Press release Matthew Carrano, research staff member and curator of dinosaurs at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, says: “These animals may have died out partly because of competition from lizards, but perhaps also because of global climate change and changing habitats.”

The discovery and characterization of O. gregori adds another vital source of knowledge that researchers believe may one day explain why rhynchocephalians have only one living species.

According to the press release, Carrano also said, “It’s fascinating when the dominance of one group gives way to another group during evolution…We still need more evidence to explain exactly what happened, but fossils like this are how we’re going to put it together.”

This article is written by Diya Mukherjee

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Paleontologists Discover Extinct Jurassic Reptile That Lived Among Dinosaurs https://phrynosoma.org/paleontologists-discover-extinct-jurassic-reptile-that-lived-among-dinosaurs/ Mon, 19 Sep 2022 08:26:46 +0000 https://phrynosoma.org/paleontologists-discover-extinct-jurassic-reptile-that-lived-among-dinosaurs/ House Technology Science Paleontologists Discover Extinct Jurassic Reptile That Lived Among Dinosaurs Scientists have discovered an extinct prehistoric reptile species that lived among dinosaurs during the Jurassic period. Artist’s impression of Opisthiamimus gregori, which lived in North America during the Jurassic period around 150 million years ago (Image credit: Julius Csotonyi Smithsonian Institution) Opisthiamimus Gregorithe […]]]>

Scientists have discovered an extinct prehistoric reptile species that lived among dinosaurs during the Jurassic period.

Illustration of Opisthiamimus gregoriArtist’s impression of Opisthiamimus gregori, which lived in North America during the Jurassic period around 150 million years ago (Image credit: Julius Csotonyi Smithsonian Institution)

Opisthiamimus Gregorithe ancient reptile that lived among the dinosaurs: A team of researchers has discovered a new, extinct species of lizard-like reptile that lived among dinosaurs. Opisthiamimus gregori lived in North America during the Jurassic Period about 150 million years ago, around the same time as the Stegosaurus and Allosaurus dinosaurs. The reptile belongs to the same lineage as the tuatara, which is found in New Zealand.

The discovery was made using a few specimens and a well-preserved fossil skeleton excavated in Wyoming, USA. Researchers plan to study why an entire ancient order of reptiles all but disappeared, leaving behind only the tuatara. The research is documented in an article published in the Journal of Systematic Palaeontology.

“What’s important about the tuatara is that it represents this huge evolutionary story that we get to capture in what is likely its final act. Even though it looks like a relatively simple lizard, it embodies quite an evolutionary saga dating back more than 200 million years,” Matthew Carrano, who was part of the research team, said in a news release from the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

O.Gregori would have looked like an iguana with a bit of heft but he and his relative, the tuatara, aren’t lizards at all. They both belong to the order Rhynchocephalia, which diverged from lizards at least 230 million years ago, according to Carano.

At their peak in the Jurassic, rhynchocephali proliferated almost worldwide and came in many different sizes. They filled many ecological niches ranging from aquatic predators to bulky herbivores. But for some reason, they all but disappeared when lizards and snakes became the most diverse reptiles in the world.

The tuatara has some strange characteristics that set it apart from other reptiles like snakes and lizards, such as teeth fused to the jaw bone and the fact that they can live for up to a hundred years. These are explained by the evolutionary gap between them and other reptiles.

“These animals may have become extinct partly due to competition from lizards, but possibly also due to global climate change and habitat modification. It’s fascinating when the dominance of one group gives way to another group during evolution, and we still need more evidence to explain exactly what happened, but fossils like this are the way we’re going to set it up,” said said Carrano.

The newly discovered reptile fossil is almost complete, apart from its tail and parts of its hind legs. According to Carano, such a complete skeleton is rare for small prehistoric creatures since their relatively fragile bones are destroyed before or after they are fossilized.

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Meet the Mount Shasta Lizard: The Largest Known Marine Reptile to Ever Live on Earth https://phrynosoma.org/meet-the-mount-shasta-lizard-the-largest-known-marine-reptile-to-ever-live-on-earth/ Mon, 19 Sep 2022 01:23:11 +0000 https://phrynosoma.org/meet-the-mount-shasta-lizard-the-largest-known-marine-reptile-to-ever-live-on-earth/ Illustration of what the Shastasaurus might look like In 1893, James Perrin Smith of Stanford University participated in a fossil-collecting expedition to the Triassic Hosselkus Limestone in northern California in the areas between Squaw Creek and the Pit River. He returned with the bones of a marine reptile he believed to be a Nothosaurusbut within […]]]>
Illustration of what the Shastasaurus might look like

In 1893, James Perrin Smith of Stanford University participated in a fossil-collecting expedition to the Triassic Hosselkus Limestone in northern California in the areas between Squaw Creek and the Pit River. He returned with the bones of a marine reptile he believed to be a Nothosaurusbut within the next decade they concluded that it was a new species – the largest marine mammal ever known to live on land.

Thus, the Shastasaurus was discovered, aptly named after nearby Mount Shasta.

Upper Triassic limestone exposures, Hosselkus, on Brock Mountain, Shasta County, California. The location of the first Shastasaurus fossils.

The Shastasaurus, also known as the Mount Shasta lizard, lived on earth around 210 million years ago during the Triassic Period and could grow up to 75 feet long. While dinosaurs roamed the land, this marine reptile ruled the ocean in a strange way, using its short, toothless snout as a very powerful vacuum cleaner, consuming mostly soft-bodied cephalopods in the ocean.

Shastasaurus was long and slender, with its ribcage measuring 6 feet wide despite being 23 feet long. The creature’s characteristics and habits are still debated in the scientific community, but we do know one thing about Shastasaurus: it was massive.

Shastasaurus perrini, UCMP 9119, from Merriam’s 1908 paper on the Triassic ichthyosaur, with special reference to American forms.

Since its discovery in the late 1800s, Shastasaurus has become a well-known genus of ichthyosaur found throughout the world. Scientists have since realized that two other ichthyosaurs – one in China and another in Canada – were also part of the Shastasaurus family.

As scientists and paleontologists continue to gather information and classify these animals millions of years ago, there are still many questions about what led to Shastasaurus’s demise. But one thing is for sure, the largest marine reptile once called northern California home.

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An extinct lizard like reptile that lived among dinosaurs recently discovered in Jurassic North America 150 million years ago https://phrynosoma.org/an-extinct-lizard-like-reptile-that-lived-among-dinosaurs-recently-discovered-in-jurassic-north-america-150-million-years-ago/ Sun, 18 Sep 2022 16:55:05 +0000 https://phrynosoma.org/an-extinct-lizard-like-reptile-that-lived-among-dinosaurs-recently-discovered-in-jurassic-north-america-150-million-years-ago/ Researchers from the Smithsonian Institution have discovered an extinct species of reptile that lived among the dinosaurs of Jurassic North America 150 million years ago. The species is a lizard-like reptile that belongs to the same ancient lineage as the living New Zealand tuatara. A team of scientists, including University College London and the Natural […]]]>

Researchers from the Smithsonian Institution have discovered an extinct species of reptile that lived among the dinosaurs of Jurassic North America 150 million years ago. The species is a lizard-like reptile that belongs to the same ancient lineage as the living New Zealand tuatara. A team of scientists, including University College London and the Natural History Museum, London science associate Marc Jones, National Museum of Natural History of Dinosauria curator Matthew Carrano and research associate David DeMar Jr, describe the new species Opisthiamimus gregori in an article published on September 15 in the Journal of Systematic Paleontology.

Everything on Opisthiamimus gregori

Opisthiamimus gregori once inhabited Jurassic North America around 150 million years ago alongside dinosaurs like Stegosaurus and Allosaurus.

When the prehistoric reptile was alive, it must have been about 16 centimeters long, from nose to tail. Additionally, the reptile likely survived on a diet of insects and other invertebrates. The reptile would fit curled up in the palm of an adult human hand.

Opisthiamimus gregori had a short (abnormally small) stature and a rigid skull, researchers believe it probably ate insects. In a statement released by the Smithsonian Institution, DeMar said prey with harder shells such as beetles or water bugs could also have been on the extinct reptile’s menu.

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Where was the extinct reptile discovered?

The researchers had excavated a few specimens, including an extraordinarily complete and well-preserved fossil skeleton, at a site centered around a better Allosaurus in the Morrison Formation of northern Wyoming. Fossils of the extinct reptile were among the specimens discovered. It is not yet known why the ancient reptile order of the animal went from being diverse and numerous in the Jurassic to only the New Zealand tuatara surviving today.

A Tuatara

are the tuataras and reptile lizards extinct?

In the statement released by the Smithsonian Institution, Carrano said the tuatara represents a huge evolutionary story that researchers have the chance to capture in what is likely its final act. He said that even though the tuatara looks like a relatively simple lizard, it embodies a whole evolutionary epic dating back more than 200 million years. The tuatara looks like a large iguana. However, the tuatara and its newly discovered relative aren’t lizards at all, according to Carrano.

What are Rhynchocephali?

Tuatara and the extinct reptile are rhynchocephali, an order that diverged from lizards at least 230 million years ago.

In the Jurassic period (200 million to 145 million years ago), rhynchocephali were found almost worldwide and came in large and small sizes. They performed different ecological roles, including hunting aquatic fish and nibbling on large plants. However, the rhynchocephali disappeared as lizards and snakes became more common and diverse reptiles across the world.

Some of Tuatara’s weird features

According to the study, the evolutionary gap between lizards and rhynchocephalans helps explain odd features of the tuatara such as teeth fused to the jaw bone. Tuataras have a unique chewing motion that slides the lower jaw back and forth like a saw blade, a lifespan of 100 years, and tolerance to colder climates.

Why have Rhynchocephali disappeared across the globe?

According to the statement, Carrano said the fossil has been added to the museum’s collections where it will remain available for future study. This may help researchers discover why the tuatara is all that remains of the rhynchocephali and why lizards are now found throughout the world.

Carrano explained that these animals may have disappeared due to competition from lizards, but also possibly due to global climate change and changing habitats.

READ ALSO | Jupiter will make its closest approach to Earth in 70 years on this date

Why is the species named so?

The species is named after museum volunteer Joseph Gregor, who spent hundreds of hours meticulously scraping and chiseling bones from a block of stone. The block first caught the eye of museum fossil preparator Pete Kroehler in 2010.

Carrano said Pete is one of those people who has some kind of x-ray vision for this stuff. Pete noticed two tiny pieces of bone on the side of the block and marked it to be brought back without really knowing what was in it, Carrano said.

“Turns out he hit the jackpot,” Carrano said.

Extinct Reptile Fossil Nearly Complete

According to the study, the fossil is almost entirely complete except for the tail and parts of the hind legs. Such a complete skeleton is “rare” for small prehistoric creatures like this, as their fragile bones were often destroyed either before they fossilized or when they emerged from an eroded rock formation in modern times, Carrano said.

This is the reason why rhynchocephali are only known to paleontologists by their jaws and teeth.

Digitization of fossils, 3D representation of the specimen

Kroehler, Gregor and others feed on as much of the tiny fossil rock as possible, given its fragility. After that, the team, led by DeMar, began scanning the fossil with high-resolution computerized tomography (CT). This is a method that uses multiple x-ray images from different angles to create a 3D representation of a specimen.

In order to capture everything they could about the fossil, the team used three separate CT scan facilities. One of them was kept at the National Museum of Natural History.

The researchers digitally rendered the bones of the fossil with sub-millimetre precision. Next, DeMar began reassembling the scanned skull bones, some of which were crushed, missing or displaced, using software. Eventually, the team created an almost complete 3D reconstruction. Researchers now have an unprecedented look at the head of the Jurassic-era reptile, thanks to the reconstructed 3D skull.

The authors note that the new species looks a bit like a miniaturized version of its only surviving relative, the tuatara, which is about five times longer.

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Researchers Discover Extinct Prehistoric Reptile That Lived Among Dinosaurs https://phrynosoma.org/researchers-discover-extinct-prehistoric-reptile-that-lived-among-dinosaurs/ Fri, 16 Sep 2022 19:45:00 +0000 https://phrynosoma.org/researchers-discover-extinct-prehistoric-reptile-that-lived-among-dinosaurs/ Newswise – Smithsonian researchers have discovered a new, extinct species of lizard-like reptile that belongs to the same ancient lineage as the living New Zealand tuatara. A team of scientists, including National Museum of Natural HistoryCurator of Dinosauria Matthew Carrano and research associate David DeMar Junior. as good as University College of London and Natural […]]]>

Newswise – Smithsonian researchers have discovered a new, extinct species of lizard-like reptile that belongs to the same ancient lineage as the living New Zealand tuatara. A team of scientists, including National Museum of Natural HistoryCurator of Dinosauria Matthew Carrano and research associate David DeMar Junior. as good as University College of London and Natural History Museum, London scientific associate Marc Jones, describes the new species Opisthiamimus gregorithat once inhabited Jurassic North America around 150 million years ago alongside dinosaurs like stegosaurus and Allosaurusin an article published today in the Journal of Systematic Paleontology. In life, this prehistoric reptile would have measured about 16 centimeters (about 6 inches) from nose to tail – and could have been curled up in the palm of an adult human hand – and likely survived on a diet of insects and other invertebrates.

“What’s important about the tuatara is that it represents this huge evolutionary story that we get to capture in what is likely its final act,” Carrano said. “Even though it looks like a relatively simple lizard, it embodies a whole evolutionary epic dating back over 200 million years.”

The find comes from a handful of specimens, including an extraordinarily complete and well-preserved fossil skeleton excavated from a site centered around a Allosaurus nest in the Morrison Formation of northern Wyoming. Further study of the find could help reveal why the ancient order of reptiles of this animal declined from diverse and numerous in the Jurassic to only the New Zealand tuatara surviving today.

The tuatara looks a bit like a particularly hardy iguana, but the tuatara and its newly discovered relative aren’t actually lizards at all. They are actually rhynchocephali, an order that diverged from lizards at least 230 million years ago, Carrano said.

In their Jurassic heyday, rhynchocephalians were found almost worldwide, came in sizes large and small, and fulfilled ecological roles ranging from aquatic fish hunters to heavy plant eaters. But for reasons that are not yet fully understood, rhynchocephalians have all but disappeared as lizards and snakes have become the most common and diverse reptiles throughout the world.

This evolutionary chasm between lizards and rhynchocephali helps explain odd characteristics of the tuatara such as teeth fused to the jawbone, a unique chewing motion that slides the lower jaw back and forth like a blade of saw, a lifespan of more than 100 years and tolerance for colder climates.

Next O. gregoriAccording to Carrano’s official description, the fossil has been added to the museum’s collections where it will remain available for future study, perhaps one day helping researchers understand why the tuatara is all that remains of the rhynchocephali, while the lizards are now found across the globe.

“These animals may have gone extinct partly because of competition from lizards, but possibly also because of global climate change and shifting habitats,” Carrano said. “It’s fascinating when the dominance of one group gives way to another group during evolution, and we still need more evidence to explain exactly what happened, but fossils like this these are the way we’re going to put it together.”

Researchers named the new species after museum volunteer Joseph Gregor, who spent hundreds of hours meticulously scraping and chiseling bones from a block of stone that first caught the picker. museum fossils. Pete Kroehler‘s eye in 2010.

“Pete is one of those people who has kind of an x-ray vision for this stuff,” Carrano said. “He noticed two tiny pieces of bone on the side of this block and marked it to be brought back without really knowing what was in it. Turns out he hit the jackpot.

The fossil is almost entirely complete except for the tail and parts of the hind legs. Carrano said such a complete skeleton is rare for small prehistoric creatures like this one, as their fragile bones were often destroyed either before they fossilized or when they emerged from an eroded rock formation in our lands. days. Accordingly, rhynchocephali are best known to paleontologists from small fragments of their jaws and teeth.

After Kroehler, Gregor and others freed as much of the tiny fossil from the rock as possible given its fragility, the team, led by DeMar, set about scanning the fossil with computerized tomography (CT) at high resolution, a method that uses multiple x-ray images from different angles to create a 3D representation of the sample. The team used three separate CT scan facilities, including one housed at the National Museum of Natural History, to capture everything they could about the fossil.

Once the fossil bones were digitally rendered with sub-millimeter accuracy, DeMar set about reassembling the scanned bones of the skull, some of which were crushed, displaced or missing from one side, using software to finally create an almost complete 3D. reconstruction. The reconstructed 3D skull now offers researchers an unprecedented look into the head of this Jurassic-age reptile.

Given OpisthiamimusDue to its small size, the shape of its teeth and its rigid skull, it likely ate insects, DeMar said, adding that harder-shelled prey such as beetles or water bugs could also have been eaten. appear on the menu. Generally speaking, the new species looks a bit like a miniaturized version of its only surviving relative (tuataras are about five times longer).

“Such a complete specimen has enormous potential for making comparisons with fossils collected in the future and for identifying or reclassifying specimens already sitting somewhere in a museum drawer,” DeMar said. “With the 3D models we have, at some point we could also do studies that use software to examine the mechanics of this creature’s jaw.”

Funding and support for this research was provided by the Smithsonian and the Australian Research Council.

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]]> This ancient reptile is not a lizard. Don’t call him a lizard https://phrynosoma.org/this-ancient-reptile-is-not-a-lizard-dont-call-him-a-lizard/ Thu, 15 Sep 2022 15:00:00 +0000 https://phrynosoma.org/this-ancient-reptile-is-not-a-lizard-dont-call-him-a-lizard/ 150 million years ago, a prehistoric reptile unlike modern lizards snuck around what is now Wyoming. An ancient rhynchocephalus, the discovery of the insectivorous animal could shed light on the persistence of its living relative, the tuatara. The reptile is named Opisthiamimus gregori. It looks like a lizard, but like the New Zealand tuatara, it […]]]>

A green-orange lizard eats an insect in this illustration.

150 million years ago, a prehistoric reptile unlike modern lizards snuck around what is now Wyoming. An ancient rhynchocephalus, the discovery of the insectivorous animal could shed light on the persistence of its living relative, the tuatara.

The reptile is named Opisthiamimus gregori. It looks like a lizard, but like the New Zealand tuatara, it is not. Lizards are squamates, an order of reptiles that includes snakes and worm lizards. Rhynchocephali are a distinct group that diverged from lizards in the Triassic.

The fossils of Opisthiamimus come from Wyoming, where they sat above what was once an allosaurus nest. Paleontologists found four specimens at the site, including an almost complete articulated skeleton of the reptile. The newly discovered species is described in a study published today in the Journal of Systematic Paleontology.

“What [the fossil] fact is to hammer home the fact that the rhynchocephali were a very diverse group for much of their evolutionary history,” study co-author Matthew Carrano, curator of Dinosauria at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, said in a statement. email to Gizmodo. “There’s probably more ‘hidden diversity’ there, because a lot of the fossils are small and fragmentary, and hard to identify.”

The fossilized remains of the reptile.

Last year, scientists described a rhynchocephalus called Taytalura alcoberihelping to clarify the evolutionary discrepancy between their reptilian order and the squamates. Taytalura is known only from a well-preserved skull, but the youngest Opisthiamimus has an almost complete skeleton. His discovery adds to that of Taytalura by showing that their reptilian order was diverse relatively early in deep time.

“I agree with the authors that this is an important discovery from the Morrison Formation,” said Tiago Simões, an evolutionary biologist at Harvard University who was unaffiliated. to the recent article, in an email to Gizmodo. Simões was one of the researchers who worked on Taytalura.

Opisthiamimus is very old; its existence precedes tyrannosaurus rex by 60 million years. He lived at the end of the Jurassic, alongside Archeopteryx and stegosaurus (although much lower to the ground than the first two, and much smaller, measuring only 6 inches from nose to tail.)

The only extant rhynchocephalus is the tuatara, which is part of the subgroup called the sphenodonts, of which there are two species. The tuatara can live for over 100 years and has the fastest cum of any reptile. In particular, it has a parietal eye in the center of its forehead and three rows of teeth: two in its upper jaw and one in the lower jaw. Unlike other reptiles, rhynchocephalic teeth are part of their jaws, rather than separate, replaceable parts.

Due to its unique anatomy, the tuatara is often referred to as a “living fossil.” He persisted when all the other members of his order could not. But don’t call it primitive: it simply found a winning formula for survival and stuck to it.

A foot-long beige reptile sits on the ground.

“I would be careful with the phylogenetic interpretation that the authors provided for this species,” added Simões, noting that the characteristics of Opisthiamimus are more typical of the sphenodontians that later appear in the fossil record.

Finding more fossils of ancient reptiles could help explain why squamates persist on Earth in abundance while rhynchocephali do not.

“One theory is that one or more of the unique characteristics of squamates allowed them to outperform rhynchocephalians,” Carrano said. “There is a broad pattern of gradual decline in rhynchocephali alongside a gradual increase in squamate diversity. But competition happens within environments, and right now we don’t have enough fossils to really investigate that idea, even though in a place like the Morrison Formation we’re getting close.

Now the team is sifting through the remains of the Allosaurus nest found just below Opisthiamimus. More rhynchocephalic fossils await discovery, in the Morrison Formation and beyond. When they are discovered, they could help us discover their reptilian family tree.

More: Rare Triassic reptile fossil found in Antarctica

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An ancient reptile developed the ability to glide due to ‘changes in the tree canopy’ https://phrynosoma.org/an-ancient-reptile-developed-the-ability-to-glide-due-to-changes-in-the-tree-canopy/ Thu, 08 Sep 2022 23:01:46 +0000 https://phrynosoma.org/an-ancient-reptile-developed-the-ability-to-glide-due-to-changes-in-the-tree-canopy/ The world’s first gliding reptile evolved 260 million years ago through changes in the tree canopy, a new study has found. Researchers have pieced together fossils of Coelurosauravus elivensis, an extinct species of reptile whose name means “grandfather hollow lizard.” The remains suggest that the species evolved from its ancestors to develop a patagium – […]]]>

The world’s first gliding reptile evolved 260 million years ago through changes in the tree canopy, a new study has found.

Researchers have pieced together fossils of Coelurosauravus elivensis, an extinct species of reptile whose name means “grandfather hollow lizard.”

The remains suggest that the species evolved from its ancestors to develop a patagium – a wing-like membrane on each side – to facilitate flight.

This allowed him to adapt from a habitat where the trees went from dense to a habitat where the trees were more separated.

When the trees moved away from each other, the species could no longer squeeze between the branches, so it had to adapt to slip between them.

Coelurosauravus elivensis evolved from its ancestors to develop a patagium – a wing-like membrane on either side – so it could glide through the air

Researchers examined near-perfect fossils of the reptile to find that it was a change in the tree canopy that likely facilitated such flight in these creatures.  Pictured is a C. elivensis fossil (A) with a silicone mold copy (B)

Researchers examined near-perfect fossils of the reptile to find that it was a change in the tree canopy that likely facilitated such flight in these creatures. Pictured is a C. elivensis fossil (A) with a silicone mold copy (B)

‘HOLLOW LIZARD GRANDFATHER’

Coelurosauravus elivensis is the name of an extinct species of reptile that lived in the late Permian, between 260 and 252 million years ago.

It is part of the genus Coelurosauravus, a name which means “grandfather hollow lizard”.

Coelurosauravus elivensis evolved from its ancestors to develop a patagium – a wing-like membrane on each side – so that it could glide through the air.

C. elivensis – the only member of the genus Coelurosauravus – lived in the late Permian, between 260 and 252 million years ago.

An artist’s impression of C. elivensis depicts a bizarre creature, like something between a lizard and a butterfly.

The new study was conducted by experts from the National Museum of Natural History in Paris and the Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde Karlsruhe in Germany.

“These dragons weren’t forged in mythological fire – they simply needed to move from place to place,” said study author Valentin Buffa of the Paleontology Research Center. Paris from the French Museum of Natural History.

“Gliding was found to be the most efficient mode of transport and here in this new study we see how their morphology enabled this.”

The only known specimens of Coelurosauravus were collected in 1907-1908 in southwestern Madagascar.

Almost 20 years later, in 1926, the specimens were described by French paleontologist Jean Piveteau as C. elivensis.

For the new study, Buffa and her colleagues examined three known C. elivensis fossils, along with a number of related specimens, all of which belong to the Weigeltisauridae family.

Fossils of Weigeltisaurids – characterized by long hollow rod-like bones – have been found in Madagascar, Germany, the United Kingdom and Russia.

Researchers have pieced together fossils of Coelurosauravus elivensis, an extinct species of reptile whose name means

Researchers have pieced together fossils of Coelurosauravus elivensis, an extinct species of reptile whose name means “grandfather hollow lizard.” Pictured is a C. elivensis fossil (A) with a silicone mold copy (B)

The top shows the creature's imprint in the rock,

The top shows the creature’s imprint in the rock, “preserved as a natural mold”. The bottom shows silicone castings from the top

THE “DRAGON OF DEATH” AN ANCIENT FLYING DETERMINED REPTILE IN ARGENTINA

The fossilized remains of a huge flying reptile dubbed the “Dragon of Death” – which lived alongside dinosaurs 86 million years ago – have been unearthed in Argentina.

Measuring approximately 9 meters in length, it is the largest pterosaur discovered in South America and one of the largest flying vertebrates to have ever lived.

Experts said the “beast” would likely have been a frightening sight as it hunted its prey across the prehistoric skies.

Read more

The research focused on the post-cranial part – all parts of the body except the head, including the torso, limbs and its remarkable gliding apparatus known as the patagium.

The patagium is the membranous flap covering the forelimbs and hindlimbs, also present in living animals such as flying squirrels, sugar gliders, and colugos.

A previous analysis of the reptile had assumed that its patagium was supported by bones that extended from the ribs, as is the case in modern Draco species from Southeast Asia.

Today, species of lizards of the genus Draco amaze observers with their gliding flights between the trees of the rainforest they inhabit.

Like Draco lizards, C. elivensis was able to grasp its patagium with its front claws, stabilize it during flight, and even adjust it “for greater maneuverability,” Buffa said.

However, C. elivensis also probably had sharp, curved claws and a “compressed body shape” which made it perfectly suited for moving vertically on tree trunks – so it was a skilled climber, as well as a glider .

“The similarity in forelimb and hindlimb length further indicates that it was an expert climber,” Buffa said.

“Their proportional length helped him stay close to the surface of the tree, preventing him from lurching and losing his balance.

“Its long, lean body and whip-like tail, also seen in contemporary arboreal reptiles, further support this interpretation.”

Today, species of lizards of the genus Draco amaze observers with their gliding flights between the trees of the rainforest.  Pictured is Draco volans, also known as the common flying dragon

Today, species of lizards of the genus Draco amaze observers with their gliding flights between the trees of the rainforest. Pictured is Draco volans, also known as the common flying dragon

The patagium is the membranous flap covering the fore and hind limbs, also present in living animals such as flying squirrels, sugar gliders (pictured) and colugos.

The patagium is the membranous flap covering the fore and hind limbs, also present in living animals such as flying squirrels, sugar gliders (pictured) and colugos.

The study also suggested that the patagium of C. elivensis may extend from the gastralia – an arrangement of bones in the skin that covers the bellies of some reptiles, including crocodilians and dinosaurs.

This would mean that the gliding apparatus sat lower on the abdomen than in modern gliding lizards.

‘VS. elivensis bears a striking resemblance to the contemporary genus Draco,” Buffa said.

“While its habits were likely similar to those of its modern counterpart, we see subtle differences.”

The new study was published today in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

WORLD’S LARGEST PTEROSAUR JUMPED INTO THE AIR TO FLY, STUDY SAYS

The world’s largest pterosaur jumped into the air so it could take off and fly 70 million years ago, according to a 2021 study.

Experts have analyzed fossils of Quetzalcoatlus – the largest known animal to fly – found in Big Bend National Park in West Texas to estimate its launch sequence.

They say the mammoth creature likely jumped at least 8ft to take flight before taking off sweeping its massive wingspan, which measured up to 40ft.

Its method of launching was similar to today’s egrets and herons, but it was more like a modern-day condor and vulture in terms of graceful flight through the air.

In six papers published as a monograph by the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, scientists and an artist provide the most comprehensive picture yet of Quetzalcoatlus.

Read more

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Mass releases of pheasants linked to severe declines in reptile populations https://phrynosoma.org/mass-releases-of-pheasants-linked-to-severe-declines-in-reptile-populations/ Thu, 08 Sep 2022 15:10:22 +0000 https://phrynosoma.org/mass-releases-of-pheasants-linked-to-severe-declines-in-reptile-populations/ A Belgian study demonstrated a link between the massive release of common pheasants and the disappearance of lizards and snakes from the environment. The research, conducted in Wallonia, also found that stopping the release of pheasants in an area led to recolonization by a widespread lizard species within a few years. Posted in the Bulletin […]]]>

A Belgian study demonstrated a link between the massive release of common pheasants and the disappearance of lizards and snakes from the environment.

The research, conducted in Wallonia, also found that stopping the release of pheasants in an area led to recolonization by a widespread lizard species within a few years.

Posted in the Bulletin of the Herpetological Society of France, the researchers presented several key findings. First, they carried out extensive field surveys at six sites where pheasants were released en masse. Regardless of how many visits they made, no reptiles were found at any of the sites. By comparison, an average of more than three species of squamates (minimum one species, maximum six) were recorded at sites not subject to game bird releases in the same area.

Second, at a site where pheasants were released in 1999, no common lizards Zootoca vivipara could be found within a 2.5 km area (measured in five 500 m sections from the release site). In 2011, a few years after the cessation of pheasant releases and the disappearance of the birds, common lizards were detected in four of the five sections. To ensure that it was not a coincidence linked to a return of the common lizard to the enlarged area, the researchers compared the results to control areas, free of pheasants. They found that the population had remained stable, suggesting that the presence of pheasants was the key to the abundance of lizards.


Researchers have found that the common pheasant is responsible for severe declines – and even some local extinctions – of various species of snakes and lizards in Belgium (Jane Rowe).

In addition, scientists have pointed out the absence of slow worms Anguis fragilis from sites subjected to mass releases of pheasants as particularly important. It is said to be the most common squamate in Wallonia and can be present at densities of up to several hundred individuals per hectare and is easily detected using artificial shelters. For none to be detected in pheasant release areas, the impact of game birds on reptiles must be enormous. As with the common lizard, slow worms have been observed to return to areas once the pheasants have disappeared.

While it is possible for abundant species to recolonize, the authors emphasize that the same is not true for rare or localized species. For example, a decade after the cessation of pheasant releases at a site formerly occupied by Adder berus viper in the Belgian province of Namur found no evidence of recolonization, as pheasants probably led to the localized extinction of this isolated population.

In areas of agricultural cultivation, where reptiles are confined to small patches of suitable habitat and form isolated populations, the risk of permanent local extinction following even temporary overpredation by pheasants is high.

Considering the evidence presented, as well as previous studies that have shown that mass releases of pheasants have significant impacts on flora, vegetation and arthropod communities, the authors argue that a ban on pheasant releases would be the recommended course of action, as has already happened in other European countries such as the Netherlands.

Reference

Graitson, E, & Taymans, J. 2022. Impacts of mass releases of ring-necked pheasants (Phasianus colchicum L) on squamates (Reptilia Squamata). Bulletin of the Herpetological Society of France. DOI: 10.48716/bullshf.180-2.

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