November 28, 2022

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A fossil from a Scottish island.  'We caught evolution red-handed'

A fossil from a Scottish island. ‘We caught evolution red-handed’

A small skeleton called the Isle of Skye Bellercia gracilis It is only six inches long and comes from the Middle Jurassic period, and is 166 million years old. This is the most complete skeleton of a lizard of this age in the world. Bellairsia has a mosaic of basic and advanced features in its skeleton, we read in an edition published on the University of Warsaw website.

These features provided information about what it might look like Ancestor of scaly reptiles – A group of animals includes lizards and snakes.

The fossil consists of an almost complete skeleton – only the tail and mouth are missing, which will be connected in an anatomical order. The results were used to investigate tomography, This allows for non-invasive 3D imaging.

The use of this technology made it possible to see almost the entire fossil.

Bellairsia has some characteristics of today’s lizards, For example, those related to the movement of the bones of the skull. This is an important functional aspect for many reptiles today – Dr. Matthews Tawanda confirms.

The fossil was found by a team from Oxford University and the National Gallery of Scotland in 2016.

Dr Elsa Panceroli, co-author of the research from the University of Oxford’s Natural History Museum and the National Museum of Scotland, notes that this was one of the first fossils she found when she began working on the Isle of Skye. As he adds, a small skull popped out of the pale limestone and She was very fortunate to have noticed.

Scaly reptiles are a group of snakes and lizards, which can number over 10,000. Species, making them one of the The most diverse Groups of vertebrates are currently alive.

Analyzes of new fossils confirmed that belarcia belongs to the trunk of the lizard family tree, that is, it separated from other lizards before dividing into groups known today – we read in the text published on the Warsaw University website.

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