Obama lizard became extinct with dinosaurs


This video from the USA says about itself:

Meet Obamadon, the Lizard Name for the President

Obamadon sounds like an overblown campaign event, but it’s actually a newly identified lizard that a Yale scientist decided to christen with the president’s name.

Less than a foot long, the extinct Obamadon had “tall, slender teeth” that it likely used to nab insects for dinner. It was one of nine new species identified by scientists from fossils previously collected in Montana. The pint-sized lizard probably died out along with dinosaurs after a massive asteroid strike in Mexico 65-million years ago.

The scientist who singled out the tiny beast said no political agenda was behind the name, noting that he had previously named a find “Mojoceratops.” Obamadon joins a freshwater fish and a lichen organism that also share President Obama’s name.

From e! Science News:

Asteroid that killed the dinosaurs also wiped out the ‘Obamadon’

Published: Monday, December 10, 2012 – 17:06 in Paleontology & Archaeology

The asteroid collision widely thought to have killed the dinosaurs also led to extreme devastation among snake and lizard species, according to new research — including the extinction of a newly identified lizard Yale and Harvard scientists have named Obamadon gracilis. “The asteroid event is typically thought of as affecting the dinosaurs primarily,” said Nicholas R. Longrich, a postdoctoral associate with Yale’s Department of Geology and Geophysics and lead author of the study. “But it basically cut this broad swath across the entire ecosystem, taking out everything. Snakes and lizards were hit extremely hard.”

The study was scheduled for online publication the week of Dec. 10 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Earlier studies have suggested that some snake and lizard species (as well as many mammals, birds, insects and plants) became extinct after the asteroid struck Earth 65.5 million years ago, on the edge of the Yucatan Peninsula. But the new research argues that the collision’s consequences were far more serious for snakes and lizards than previously understood. As many as 83 percent of all snake and lizard species died off, the researchers said — and the bigger the creature, the more likely it was to become extinct, with no species larger than one pound surviving.

The results are based on a detailed examination of previously collected snake and lizard fossils covering a territory in western North America stretching from New Mexico in the southwestern United States to Alberta, Canada. The authors examined 21 previously known species and also identified nine new lizards and snakes.

They found that a remarkable range of reptile species lived in the last days of the dinosaurs. Some were tiny lizards. One snake was the size of a boa constrictor, large enough to take the eggs and young of many dinosaur species. Iguana-like plant-eating lizards inhabited the southwest, while carnivorous lizards hunted through the swamps and flood plains of what is now Montana, some of them up to six feet long.

“Lizards and snakes rivaled the dinosaurs in terms of diversity, making it just as much an ‘Age of Lizards’ as an ‘Age of Dinosaurs,'” Longrich said.

The scientists then conducted a detailed analysis of the relationships of these reptiles, showing that many represented archaic lizard and snake families that disappeared at the end of the Cretaceous, following the asteroid strike.

One of the most diverse lizard branches wiped out was the Polyglyphanodontia. This broad category of lizards included up to 40 percent of all lizards then living in North America, according to the researchers. In reassessing previously collected fossils, they came across an unnamed species and called it Obamadon gracilis. In Latin, odon means “tooth” and gracilis means “slender.”

“It is a small polyglyphanodontian distinguished by tall, slender teeth with large central cusps separated from small accessory cusps by lingual grooves,” the researchers write of Obamadon, which is known primarily from the jaw bones of two specimens. Longrich said the creature likely measured less than one foot long and probably ate insects.

He said no one should impute any political significance to the decision to name the extinct lizard after the recently re-elected U.S. president: “We’re just having fun with taxonomy.”

The mass (but not total) extinction of snakes and lizards paved the way for the evolution and diversification of the survivors by eliminating competitors, the researchers said. There are about 9,000 species of lizard and snake alive today. “They didn’t win because they were better adapted, they basically won by default, because all their competitors were eliminated,” Longrich said.

Co-author Bhart-Anjan S. Bhullar, a doctoral student in organismic and evolutionary biology at Harvard University, said: “One of the most important innovations in this work is that we were able to precisely reconstruct the relationships of extinct reptiles from very fragmentary jaw material. This had tacitly been thought impossible for creatures other than mammals. Our study then becomes the pilot for a wave of inquiry using neglected fossils and underscores the importance of museums like the Yale Peabody as archives of primary data on evolution — data that yield richer insights with each new era of scientific investigation.”

Jacques A. Gauthier, professor of geology and geophysics at Yale and curator of vertebrate paleontology and vertebrate zoology, is also an author.

The paper is titled “Mass Extinction of Lizards and Snakes at the Cretaceous-Paleogene Boundary.” The National Science Foundation and the Yale Institute for Biospheric Studies supported the research.

Next time he’s vacationing in Hawaii, President Barack Obama might just bump into his new namesake: a pink, yellow and blue coral-reef fish that researchers have named in the president’s honor. Researchers discovered the previously unknown fish species, now dubbed Tosanoides obama, during a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) expedition to Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument in the remote Northwestern Hawaiian Islands in June 2016: here.

Advertisements

38 thoughts on “Obama lizard became extinct with dinosaurs

  1. Pingback: Pre-dinosaur mesosaurs’ live birth | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Obama lizard became extinct with dinosaurs « Philip's Blog

  3. Pingback: Colourful North American snakes, video | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: First freshwater mosasaur discovery | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  5. Pingback: Dinosaurs, why so many big species? | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  6. Pingback: 33 new trapdoor spiders discovered, namer after Obama, Jolie | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  7. Pingback: Most popular posts on this blog in 2012 | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  8. Pingback: New mammal from dinosaur age found in China | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  9. Pingback: Pygmy sperm whale beaches in Cayman islands | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  10. Pingback: Dinosaurs extinct, why not freshwater life? | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  11. Pingback: Birdbrains helped to survive dinosaurs | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  12. Pingback: Post-Cretaceous dinosaurs? | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  13. Pingback: Reticulated python examination | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  14. Pingback: Sharks, 450 million years ago till today | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  15. Pingback: ‘Meteorite killed not only dinosaurs, also most mammals’ | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  16. Pingback: Dinosaur extinction, new theory | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  17. Pingback: Threatened moth named after Donald Trump | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  18. Pingback: Dinosaur age lizard discovery | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  19. Pingback: Ocellated lizards, new research | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  20. Pingback: Amazon rainforest, 381 new wildlife species discovered | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  21. Pingback: Ants named after Obama, Ken Saro-Wiwa | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  22. Pingback: New Caribbean spider named after Bernie Sanders | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  23. Pingback: Tyrannosaur discovery in Utah, USA | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  24. Pingback: Extinct Caribbean mammals | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  25. Pingback: Dinosaur age mammalian human ancestors discovery in England | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  26. Pingback: What makes dinosaurs dinosaurs? | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  27. Pingback: Ancient Precambrian animals named after Attenborough, Obama | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  28. Pingback: Mosasaur fossils, new study | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  29. Pingback: Mosasaur species comparison | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  30. Pingback: Liebster Award, thanks so much Emilia! | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  31. Pingback: Caecilian amphibian named after Donald Trump | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  32. Pingback: Triassic fossil frogs discovery in Arizona, USA | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  33. Pingback: Bedbugs’ dinosaur age origins | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  34. Pingback: Antarctic marine life recovery after dinosaurs’ extinction | Dear Kitty. Some blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.