23-million-year-old lizard fossil found, some tissue still intact
A 23-million-year-old lizard has been found in Chiapas, Mexico.
The lizard, which measures just 1.7 inch (4.3 cm) long by 0.5 inch (1.3 cm) wide, is—you guessed it—dead. Scientists from the National Autonomous University of Mexico’s Physics Institute discovered the anole-like lizard preserved in a small piece of amber. Thanks to the amber’s extremely high preservative nature, the lizard’s full skeleton are still intact, and even some of the creature’s tissue is still present.
No specific Linnaean name has been assigned to the lizard, but scientists observing the creature’s appearance are leaning towards a new species of anole. Some of the more recent anoles we have running around can be found in places like Florida, where they’re considered as friendly lizards and prey on small insects such as cockroaches.
Genetic analysis of the lizard may lead to further evidence that the lizard is an anole, but that would require cracking open the amber resin. Currently, the fossil is on display at the Amber Museum in San Cristobal de las Casas.