Ancient Brazilian Lake Yields Fossils From Pangaea Era

By on December 1, 2015

Reconstruction of the ancient Brazilian community, showing the species Timonya anneae (left) and Procuhy nazariensis (right). (Credit: Andrey Atuchin)


Working in a long-lost Brazilian lake, scientists from The Field Museum in Chicago have found a few of the ancient species that once inhabited it, according to a release. The discoveries help bridge gaps between the animals existing during the time of the Pangaea supercontinent and those living on Earth today.

Among the finds are a few fossilized amphibian species, as well as a reptile from northeastern Brazil. One new species found is described as a fully aquatic amphibian with gills and fangs resembling a salamander. Another ancient amphibian found has, in some languages, been called a “fire frog,” which lived its entire life in water despite the name.

The knowledge gained by the fossil finds are illuminating because relatively few specimens exist for aquatic animals of the time, scientists say. In addition, most other similar investigations have looked at regions in North America or western Europe. The new findings shed light on animals that lived in areas south of the equator.

Top image: Reconstruction of the ancient Brazilian community, showing the species Timonya anneae (left) and Procuhy nazariensis (right). (Credit: Andrey Atuchin)

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