Thursday, November 01, 2007

Casting A Deep Shadow

From National Geographic news:

David Fillmore, a Kutztown State University undergraduate student, digging through a collection of fossils in a Pennsylvania museum recently found beautifully preserved full-body impressions of 30 cm salamander-like creatures that lived 330 million years ago.

The imprints reveal that the animal had webbed feet and that its skin was smooth, not scaly or armor-plated, as seen in an artist's depiction. Also, the fact that two of the salamanders are aligned head-to-toe might indicate courtship behavior similar to that engaged in by modern salamanders.

The work was presented by Spencer Lucas at the recent Geological Society of America meeting in Denver, Colorado.