Two new Cretaceous species detailed in the study – .

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Two new Cretaceous species detailed in the study – .


TORONTO – Two tiny, newly identified species of fish and lizards that existed 100 million years ago have been detailed in a study.

A team of researchers published their work in the journal PeerJ on Thursday, in which they describe a lizard named Sciroseps pawhuskai and a named fish Anomoeodus caddoi.

“The fish and the lizard represent a material, although small and fragmentary, that preserves enough detail to call them new species,” said Joseph Frederickson, vertebrate paleontologist and co-author of the study, in a statement from hurry. “The lizard jaw is particularly interesting because normally the fossils are limited to small broken pieces, while the specimen we describe in this article is largely a complete lower jaw. “

The fossils were discovered in southwest Arkansas at a site known as the Holly Creek Formation, an area that apparently once had a rich ecosystem.

“The Holly Creek Formation is interesting because few fossils have been described in the literature, although it has produced dinosaur fossils in the past,” said Frederickson. “Trainings like these help us better understand how the continent was connected and the diversity of living animals during the early Cretaceous. “

The newly described species highlight the variety of fossils that have been found at the site, including those of dinosaurs, mammals, fish, amphibians and reptiles.

“I think this article is a good reminder that the fossil record preserves many different animals, not just dinosaurs,” he said. “This article focuses heavily on the tiny organisms crawling or swimming at the feet of giant dinosaurs, which too often go undocumented because they can be difficult to study. However, it is often these little animals that tell us the most about the environment in which they lived. “

Dinosaurs previously discovered at the site include at least one long-necked sauropod (likely Sauroposeidon), large theropods (including a young Acrocanthosaurus), an ankylosaurus (armored dinosaur), and the small kickboxing raptor known as Deinonychus.

A variety of very small fossils have also been discovered, including remains of sharks, bony fish, frogs, lizards, turtles, crocodilians, and mammals. Together, these species paint a picture of the ecosystem that existed in the study area millions of years ago.

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