A new ‘Jesus Lizard’ fossil was found in Wyoming enabling scientists to better study the habits of the Babibasiliscus alxi species of reptiles. Based on the research that paleontologists have made, the lizard was very active during the day time and spent great part of its time in trees.
After various works, scientists managed to unearth a fossil belonging to the so-called ‘Jesus Lizard’ species. The reptile was, thus, nicknamed because its body shape clearly indicates that the reptile could walk on water.
The relic was found within the Bridger Formation region, in Wyoming, an area where scientists have found many lizard fossils in the past, as well. The first studies indicate that the ‘Jesus Lizard’ lived in this area approximately 48 million years ago.
Judging from its body structure, the reptile could freely climb trees, so researchers believe this was the favorite place of these exemplars as they could protect themselves against attackers. Being just 2ft long the lizard could not protect itself against predators and it was, therefore, forced to adapt its lifestyle to new surviving conditions.
The newly found fossil indicates that the representatives of the Babibasiliscus alxi species appeared to be violent due to the crease on their forehead. However, this physical trait also enabled the lizards to protect themselves against the sunlight.
The Wyoming relic has been so well-preserved that paleontologists have even managed to study its mouth structure. They have, thus, found that these reptiles had very small teeth that they used to devour various insects, plants, fish and even snakes.
In spite of its small size, the ‘Jesus Lizard’ could very well eat larger preys, due to its big cheekbone structure.
This group has later on given birth to the modern species of reptiles we know today, including iguanas and chameleons.
Scientists have concluded the study that was published on the journal Plos One by saying that the fossil will be exposed at the American Museum of Natural History together with the discoveries that have been made.
The leader of the research group, Jack Conrad, stated that the ‘Jesus Lizard’ relic has enabled them to better understand this species of reptiles and to draw further conclusions on the behavior of more modern exemplars.
Image source: westerndigs.org
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