February 21, 2024


Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have discovered a new species of ancient reptile in central Wyoming and named it after the language of the local Aboriginal people.

The western United States, from Texas to Montana, has been a great place to unearth fossils representing Earth’s ancient ecosystems.

The new fossil samples were collected from the Popo Agie Formation, which includes Wyoming’s Southern Bighorn Mountains and part of the Northern Rockies. It was deposited during the Late Triassic Period, 237 to 227 million years ago. Fossil fragments of prehistoric reptiles and amphibians have previously been found in the Popo Agie Formation, but have not been found for some time.

“It’s an exciting site to visit because this geological formation hasn’t really been studied in nearly a century,” said David Lovelace, the study’s corresponding author.

We rarely see collaborations between scientists and local Aboriginal communities. That’s not the case for UW-Madison scientists and students, who have developed relationships with representatives of the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes and the Fort Waushakee School (FWS) on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming. There are clear advantages to ensuring Aboriginal people are involved in the fossil discovery and classification process, the researchers say.

“(W)e captures this multicultural, multigenerational interaction in a field where elders, FWS students, UW-Madison students, and scientists work together to integrate Western science, Indigenous science, and traditional ecological knowledge,” Love said. Rice said.

So it seemed fitting to name a three-foot-long (0.9-meter), stocky, beak-like herbivorous reptile found in the lands of the Northern Arapaho people after their native language.Thus, the creature, a rhinoceros, was named bees are coolpronounced Bah-se-wa’ ja’ aw-wu sa, meaning “large lizard from the Alcova region,” a region in central Wyoming.

Rhinoceros, related to modern crocodiles and birds, roamed the Earth between 250 and 227 million years ago. It is known for its unique array of plate-like teeth for crushing and cutting plants.Researchers find 12 different specimens of rhodosaurids, 3 of which were identified by teeth as belonging to bees are cool Taxon.

presence of rhynchosauria- and bees are cool In Wyoming, in particular, the researchers say, could help more accurately date the Popo Agie Formation to the Carnian (late Triassic) period.

“A big reason this became important is because within that time interval the first dinosaurs evolved,” Lovelace said. “This means that these rocks in Wyoming have the potential to preserve parts of the fossil record that have not been preserved in North America. It makes it a unique window into dinosaur evolution.”

The study was published in the journal diversity.

source: University of Wisconsin-Madison