Evidence Early Reptiles Were First Vertebrates to Live on Dry River Plains
It has long been suspected by scientists that reptiles were the first to make the continental interiors their home. A new discovery of trackways proves this theory.
Around 315 million years ago, a reptile about the size of house cat took a walk along a dried up river bed, leaving its footprints behind. This provides evidence that early reptiles were the first vertebrates able to live on dry river plains far from the sea.
This new discovery proved the long-held theory that reptiles were the first to make the continental interiors their home.
The tracks are abundant and indicate a few different kinds of reptiles were there, including one with slender digits and a narrow splay and another with a much stubbier foot.
The discovery was recently written up in the journal Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, co-authored by Dalhousie Earth Sciences professor Martin Gibling.
"This is a major evolutionary development -- allowing our ancestors to live on land without having to beetle back to the water to reproduce." - Dr. Martin Gibling
A print compared in size to a penny
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