NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – A team of paleontologists from the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Carnegie Museum of Natural History found a fossil that is now the oldest tree-climbing reptile on record. The fossil was uncovered just outside of Chama, New Mexico.
Researches say the previous oldest known climbing reptile was from about 290-million-year-old rocks in Germany. They say this fossil was discovered in 305-million-year-old rocks from Earth’s Pennsylvanian Period. The reptile was named ‘Eoscansor,’
The new discovery pushes changes understand of when reptiles began climbing. “Once again a fossil discovery from New Mexico rewrites the paleontology textbooks. In this case, revealing a tiny, agile climber that is a previously unexpected inhabitant of the Pennsylvanian world,” Dr. Spencer G. Lucas, Curator of Paleontology at NMMNHS said in a release.
Researchers say the features from the fossil skeleton show that it climbed trees and its teeth show it most likely ate insects. They describe it as a small and agile climber and say it’s discovery means most likely there are other similar reptiles that have not been discovered.