• Wed. May 29th, 2024

Frogging Back in Time: Kermitops Gratus, the Muppet-Like Amphibian That Adds a Splash of Fun to Evolutionary Studies

BySamantha Jones

Mar 27, 2024
Ancient Amphibian Ancestor Named After Iconic Muppet Kermit

A recently discovered amphibian ancestor has been named Kermitops gratus, after the iconic Muppet character Kermit the Frog. This proto-amphibian lived 270 million years ago and had a skull that was just over an inch long. It was found in Texas by paleontologist Nicholas Hotton III and later identified as a temnospondyl, an extinct type of predecessor to modern amphibians that existed for over 200 million years.

The well-preserved fossil features oval eye sockets and a cartoonishly wide face and eyes that are reminiscent of the famous puppet. Postdoctoral paleontologist Arjan Mann rediscovered Hotton’s skull in 2021 and was impressed by its almost complete preservation. Despite some damage to the palate and braincase, the skull still showed intricate details like the arrangement of palpebral ossicles, the tiny bones in an animal’s eyelids. This attention to detail in the fossil adds to its uniqueness and gives researchers a glimpse into the ancient amphibian’s anatomy.

Calvin So, a doctoral student at George Washington University and lead author on the study, highlighted the significance of using Kermit for this fossil’s name. He noted that it could help bridge the gap between science and society, making paleontology more accessible and engaging for everyone. The discovery of Kermitops gratus sheds light on how amphibians evolved over time, including interesting features of ancient creatures like those named after beloved pop culture characters such as Kermit.

In conclusion, Kermitops gratus is not only a fascinating addition to our understanding of evolution but also serves as an important reminder that science can be fun and accessible to all. With names like this one, paleontologists can continue to engage with people from all walks of life while advancing our knowledge about our planet’s past inhabitants.

By Samantha Jones

As a content writer at newsnnk.com, I weave words into captivating stories that inform and engage our readers. With a passion for storytelling and an eye for detail, I strive to deliver high-quality and engaging content that resonates with our audience. From breaking news to thought-provoking features, I am dedicated to providing informative and compelling articles that keep our readers informed and entertained. Join me on this journey as we explore the world through the power of words.

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