Scientists in Brazil stumble upon Teyujagua paradoxa, an ancient reptile that was an ancestor to birds and crocodiles.
The stunning discovery of an early ancestor to modern-day birds and crocodiles shows that there is much we have yet discover about our world — and there are five finds in recent history that illustrate just what amazing things are out there under the ground.
Scientists in Brazil found an ancient 250-million-year-old beast that they have named Teyujagua paradoxa. It is an important find because it is a link between ancient reptiles and the creatures that would eventually become dinosaurs and then birds and crocodiles.
The fossil was found in an area of exposed Triassic rock in southern Brazil, and it would have lived not long after a massive volcanic eruption in eastern Russia eliminated 90 percent of living species.
It’s a huge find, and it joins a list of a number of amazing finds that have expanded our knowledge of evolution.
Scientists found a 50-million-year-old fossilized sperm from a collared worm, which is apparently the oldest animal sperm ever discovered by at least 10 million years. The previous record holder was the springtail sperm discovered in Baltic amber, but that was only about 40 million years old, according to a Discover Magazine report.
Another amazing find was a 425 million year old penis that belonged to a fossilized ostracod, also known as a seed strip. It was discovered in a ditch near the border of England and Wales in the early 2000s, and was remarkable for how well its soft tissues were preserved.
Scientists stumbled upon fossilized dinosaur feces on numerous occasions. They are called bromalites, or stink rocks, and have been found just about everywhere that dinosaurs have been.
Rhinos in England? A discovery of a fossil in the UK in 1821 revealed the rhinos once roamed England up until about 125,000 years ago, during a warm phase between ice ages. Scientists have found the bones of large herbivores in the UK.
Then there’s the curious case of fossils found in Mazon Creek in Illinois. In the 1950s, Francis Tully found a weird soft-bellied animal in a split mineral nodule. They found other specimens, but only in Mazon Creek. Scientists aren’t sure what it is, calling it Tullimonstrum gregarium, and it’s still a mystery as to what it is. It would have been a few inches long with a long snout and pincers, as well as two eyes on stalks and a finned tail.