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Oldest lizard-like fossil predates other by 12 million years

First direct evidence that such types existed in the middle Triassic, 240 million years ago

jaw, reconstruction /Marc Jones

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.

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One Response to Oldest lizard-like fossil predates other by 12 million years

  1. semi related notes:

    Tiktaalik Blown “Out of the Water” by Earlier Tetrapod Fossil Footprints – January 2010
    Excerpt: The tracks predate the oldest tetrapod skeletal remains by 18 Myr and, more surprisingly, the earliest elpistostegalian fishes by about 10 Myr.

    Three-dimensional limb joint mobility in the early tetrapod Ichthyostega : Published online 23 May 2012 – video with article
    Excerpt: The origin of tetrapods and the transition from swimming to walking was a pivotal step in the evolution and diversification of terrestrial vertebrates.,,, We conclude that early tetrapods with the skeletal morphology and limb mobility of Ichthyostega were unlikely to have made some of the recently described Middle Devonian trackways.

    Fish & Dinosaur Evolution vs. The Actual Fossil Evidence – video and notes

    Romer’s Gap fossils have not provided transitional forms (for hypothetical fish to land animal) – David Tyler – March 2012
    Excerpt: All the fossil evidence shows discontinuity, but evolutionary linkages are marked (all located within Romer’s Gap) that are devoid of supporting data. We are still a long way from a science that majors “on the presence, rather than the absence, of fossil data”.

    Do Molecular Clocks Run at All? A Critique of Molecular Systematics – Jeffrey H. Schwartz, Bruno Maresca – 2006
    Abstract: Although molecular systematists may use the terminology of cladism, claiming that the reconstruction of phylogenetic relationships is based on shared derived states (synapomorphies), the latter is not the case. Rather, molecular systematics is (largely) based on the assumption, first clearly articulated by Zuckerkandl and Pauling (1962), that degree of overall similarity reflects degree of relatedness. This assumption derives from interpreting molecular similarity (or dissimilarity) between taxa in the context of a Darwinian model of continual and gradual change. Review of the history of molecular systematics and its claims in the context of molecular biology reveals that there is no basis for the “molecular assumption.”.. For historians and philosophers of science the questions that arise are how belief in the infallibility of molecular data for reconstructing evolutionary relationships emerged, and how this belief became so central …

    Also see Darwin’s Doubt for a more thorough critique of molecular clocks. Here is a short review:

    Review: Darwin’s Doubt: – Rich Deem
    Molecular Clock: Based upon the concept of a molecular clock in the genetic sequences of key genes of Cambrian ancestors, scientists have attempted to calculate the time at which these hypothetical ancestors must have evolved. Since the fossil record failed to demonstrate these pre-Cambrian ancestors, scientists had hoped to raise doubt on the brevity of the Cambrian explosion. Calculations based upon a molecular clock showed that these hypothetical ancestors must have arisen a billion or more years ago (half a billion before the Cambrian explosion). However, there isn’t even a hint of multicellularity that far back, even though we can find fossil evidence of single-celled organisms as far back as 3.5 billion years ago. Molecular clocks based upon different proteins in different studies produce divergence dates that vary by more than 1 billion years. Hence, the accuracy of such studies must be questioned.

    As well, one of the Darwinists supposed strongest proofs for Darwinian evolution in lizards turned out to be merely a cyclical variation within a species:

    Phenotypic Plasticity – Lizard cecal valve (cyclical variation)- video

    Lizard Plasticity – March 2013

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