Friday, 14 December 2012

Obama-named lizard was wiped out with the dinosaurs


Researchers say the giant extinction event that saw the end of the dinosaurs also killed off most snakes and lizards - among them a newly discovered species named after US President Barack Obama.

The effect of the event on dinosaurs is well known, but the fates of smaller creatures have been less certain.

Now, a rich record of reptile fossils - including the new Obamadon gracilis - suggests 83% of snake and lizard species became extinct at that time.


In it, researchers from Harvard and Yale universities in the US name eight more lizard and snake species that are new to science.

Obamadon gracilis was a tiny lizard that draws its name also from the Latin "-odon" meaning tooth and "gracilis" meaning slender.

Lead author of the study Nicholas Longrich, of Yale University, said there were no political undertones in the choice of name.


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