A new species of lizard family fossils were found in the stratum of Tamba City, Hyogo Prefecture, about 110 million years ago, where fossils such as the largest herbivorous dinosaur "Tamba Ryu" in Japan were discovered one after another.

Since it is the oldest fossil in this group, it is attracting attention as a valuable resource for learning about evolution.

From the Early Cretaceous strata about 110 million years ago in Tamba City, Hyogo Prefecture, fossils such as the largest herbivorous dinosaur "Tamba Ryu" in Japan have been discovered one after another.



An archaeological excavation conducted by a group such as the Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Nature and Human Activities found a new fossil of the lower jaw and teeth about 2 cm in length.



A detailed analysis of this fossil revealed that it is a new species belonging to the Gila Monsters, which is a member of the reptiles and still inhabits the Americas and surrounding islands, based on the way the teeth are attached and the shape.



The total length is estimated to be about 30 cm, which means that it is the oldest fossil of the Gila Monsters.

This new species has sharp teeth on both sides, resembling a "sword with a sword", and is named "Morohasaurus Kamitachiensis" after the place name "Kamitaki" where the fossil was excavated.



Tadahiro Ikeda, Senior Researcher at the Museum of Nature and Human Activities in Hyogo, said, "It will be an important clue to know the origin of the Gila Monsters and how they have moved, dispersed and evolved across the continent."



The fossils will be exhibited at the Museum of Nature and Human Activities in Hyogo from the 1st of next month.

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