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Prehistoric lizard found trapped in amber

Posted on Tuesday, 9 July, 2013 | Comment icon 25 comments

Image credit: Facebook/La Jornada

The complete fossil of a 23 million-year-old lizard has been discovered preserved in a piece of amber.

While it isn't the first such discovery, this particular find is rare because the lizard is so well preserved and still has its soft tissues and skin. Only one other specimen of this species has ever been found in amber and it was so incomplete and little could be determined from it. Experts are set to study this new find in an effort to learn as much as possible about it.

Creatures become preserved in amber when they get stuck in tree sap which then solidifies, trapping them for millions of years. Most finds of this nature are of insects, the oldest specimen ever found is from a species of mite which lived 230 million years ago.

"Mexican scientists are currently examining a complete fossil of a lizard that has remained entombed in a chunk of amber for some 23 million years, according to a recent report in La Jornada en Linea."

  View: Full article |  Source: Nature World News

  Discuss: View comments (25)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #16 Posted by Rlyeh on 10 July, 2013, 16:40
Creationist garbage.
Comment icon #17 Posted by Merc14 on 10 July, 2013, 19:11
Yes but it is really irrelevant here since carbon dating isn't doable past 60K years or so. Why it was brought up regarding a 20M year old lizard is beyond me.
Comment icon #18 Posted by DieChecker on 10 July, 2013, 20:56
What about raw maple syrup? We could probably get ahold of a ton of that and lay you out in a box and encase you in it.... Probably it would not be transparent though. Not immediately anyway. Probably work real well if we freeze dried you first... get rid of the decomposition agents and water.
Comment icon #19 Posted by questionmark on 10 July, 2013, 21:02
Because Earth is "only 6000 years old"?
Comment icon #20 Posted by Merc14 on 10 July, 2013, 21:13
First it was 60K as in 60,000 years, not 6000 and the reason is beyond 60K years there isn't enough trace C14 to separate from the background radiation. Some use an accelerator method in certain circumstances that can extend the time to 100K years.
Comment icon #21 Posted by questionmark on 10 July, 2013, 21:15
I am talking about those who claim that [sup]14[/sup]C is unreliable. They claim it can't be because the Earth is only 6000 years old. Sorry for the confusion.
Comment icon #22 Posted by Merc14 on 10 July, 2013, 21:37
Ahh, the man road dinosaurs crowd. Silliness squared.
Comment icon #23 Posted by Rlyeh on 11 July, 2013, 9:14
Carbon dating wasn't mentioned in the article, creationists don't know what they're arguing against most the time.
Comment icon #24 Posted by Frank Merton on 11 July, 2013, 9:28
Someone please straighten me out but aren't there dozens of these methods of dating things based on the varying half-lives of the elements involved and isn't C-14 only one used for quite recent things that contain organic matter?
Comment icon #25 Posted by questionmark on 11 July, 2013, 9:54
Quite so, but none as reliable as carbon in living organisms. I don't know how many times I posted this: We are not really talking about carbon, we talk about nitrogen that was bombarded with cosmic rays and acquired 2 additional neutrons by that. That way it behaves as if it would be a carbon atom (hence the name carbon 14), and as the basis for all life on this planet is carbon, some of the stuff metabolized instead of the real stuff is this fake carbon. Now, this fake carbon has a half life of about 5700 years and leaves without a trace as it converts to nitrogen again.. The rest is... [More]

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