In new research, scientists have discovered the world’s oldest lizard fossil, and this discovery has shed the lights on the evolution of lizards and snakes. The fossil which was found by the researchers was dated back to 240 million years old, and they are known as Megachirella Wachtleri.
These species are said to be believed to be the most ancient ancestor of the scaled reptiles which is known as squamates. The conclusion of the analysis is based on the data which are from both living and extinct reptiles.
The Paleontologists are initially described as the tiny reptile, but the recent research revealed that the features in the fossil which are hidden and it enable the scientists to help in identifying the Megachirella. The fossils of them are previously thought to be belonging to the earliest squamates, and they are around 75 million years. They help in making the bridge between the gap for the oldest know squamates and its estimated origins of the reptile group which derived from the molecular data.
The fossil of the Megachirella was found in the Alps in northern Italy, and they are estimated to be about 240 million years old. These lizard type features hinted that the fossil might provide the valuable and unique clues about squamates.
As per the Tiago Simoes, who is the lead author of the study and also a Ph.D. student in the University of Alberta’s biological sciences department said that the fossil of lizard which was found are oldest known lizard present in the World. This specimen was first discovered in 1993 and is about 75 million years old, and he said that it fills the gaps between the evolution of lizards and snakes. There are about 10,000 species of squamates which are present in the world and scientists are still trying to learn about them till now about the evolution of the animal.
When the researchers have found the fossil of these species, they initially thought that there are not related to the lizard, but after the analysis of the fossil, it was concluded that it was the oldest relative of the existing lizards and snakes. In this study, it was learned that the large reptiles were present in the Permian period and that means they were present and evolved themselves before the extinction occurred.