Tetrapodophis amplectus ancient animal resembling a serpent with four legs, may lose the title of the missing link in the evolution of reptiles and even be forgotten in the scientific community. The reason is the owner of the only fossils that have closed access to the remains of reptiles that have angered scientists. It is reported online edition of Science.
Paleontologists led by David Martello (David Martill) found an animal in one of the German museums. The remains were originally found in Brazil, in geological outcrop Crato (Crato), formed by limestone rocks, the age of 108 million years. The characteristic features of the fossil reptiles were long the backbone, consisting of vertebrae 150, relatively short tail, curved teeth and the scales on the belly. The researchers named the reptile Tetrapodophis amplectus and suggested that it is a transitional form in the evolution of snakes.
This view was challenged by other paleontologists. Michael Caldwell (Michael Caldwell) believes that the remains belong to a representative of an extinct genus of marine lizard Dolichosaurus. To confirm one of the two hypotheses, more research is needed. Currently, however, analysis is not possible because the fossils, as it turned out, was part of a private collection.
Owner Tetrapodophis amplectus limited access to the animal, probably due to the fact that during studies of the remains were damaged. Because researchers cannot study ancient reptile, some experts suggest to forget about it, and the article Martilla to withdraw out of print. According to them, Tetrapodophis amplectus has nothing to do with science, because it is no longer possible to explore, and one of the main criteria of science is reproducibility of data.
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