New species of 220 million-year-old burrowing reptile found in Arizona


A team of paleontology summer interns from various universities recently found evidence of a new species of a 220 million-year-old burrowing reptile in Arizona’s Petrified Forest National Park.

Fossils found at the park reveal a new type of drepanosaur, dubbed Skybalonyx skapter. The discovery of the fossils, which were analyzed by a team of researchers from the park, Virginia Tech, the University of Washington, Arizona State University, Idaho State University and Virginia Museum of Natural History, was announced earlier this month in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, according to the National Park Service.

Drepanosaurs belong to a group of ancient reptiles that had enlarged second claws, bird-like beaks and tails that ended in a claw — a cross between an anteater and a chameleon, according to the scientists.

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