Oldest lizard-like fossil predates other by 12 million years
|October 1, 2013||Posted by News under News, stasis|
First direct evidence that such types existed in the middle Triassic, 240 million years ago
The small teeth and lightly built jaws suggest that the extinct animal preyed on small insects. The new fossils are most closely related to the tuatara, a lizard-like reptile.
Tuatara can be found on 35 islands lying off the coast of New Zealand and were recently reintroduced to the mainland. However, they are the sole survivors of a group that was once as globally widespread as lizards are today. Tuatara feed on beetles, spiders, crickets and small lizards, also enjoying the occasional sea bird.