Millions of years before the ground trembled under the footfalls of T. rex— the so-called “king of the dinosaurs” — a forested Antarctica was home to an iguana-size “lizard king.”
This ancient reptile was an archosaur — part of the same group that would later include dinosaurs, pterosaurs and crocodilians. Scientists recently discovered a partial skeleton of the lizard dating to 250 million years ago, a time when Antarctica was bursting with plant and animal life.
Not only does the fossil of this former “king” provide a sharper picture of the forest landscape in long-ago Antarctica, it also helps to explain the evolutionary landscape following the biggest mass extinction in Earth’s history, scientists reported in a new study
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