May 22, 2024

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A 280-million-year-old lizard has been found, most of which is paint

A 280-million-year-old lizard has been found, most of which is paint

A fossil considered significant in understanding the evolution of early reptiles has been found to be mostly paint, according to Science Alert. New scientific analysis Published on Thursday.

In 1931, a museum worker discovered the remains of a lizard-like creature in the Italian Alps surrounded by a dark shadow in the rock. Scientists believe this rare shadow was charred soft tissue. The five-digit long-necked reptile has been declared part of a new genus, Tridentinosaurus anticus In 1959 it was declared part of the Protorosauria group. The age of the fossil is estimated at 280 million years.

Because the fossil was discovered before much modern technology was invented, it was never verified using a range of modern techniques. A new study, co-authored by Valentina Rossi of University College Cork in Ireland, sought to do just that. What they discovered was that although some parts of the fossil were completely real, the outlines that made it unique were fake.

New tests found no melanin in the black trail that surrounded the fossil, indicating that it had no animal origin. The black shadow is now thought to be a coating consistent with mechanical preparation intended to expose more of the skeleton.

“Applying paints, varnishes and varnishes to fossil bones was the norm, because this was the only way to protect the specimens from further deterioration. Sometimes the goal was also to decorate the specimens by making them elegant and shiny,” Rossi said. Ars Technica. “Unfortunately, in the case of Tridentinosaurus, the mechanical preparation caused most of the damage, and then the application of black paint created the illusion of a lizard-like animal impression on the rock surface.”

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This discovery brings new doubts about the validity of the classification assigned to the creatures, which was determined by the observed length of the creature's various body parts.