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Iguana-like Lizard Species That Lived 75 Million Years Ago Discovered in Montana

March 6, 2017



Misaki Ouchida

A paleontologist with Montana State University led a team of researchers who discovered an iguana-like lizard that inhabited the earth more than 75 million years ago.

David Varricchio, associate professor of paleontology in MSU’s Department of Earth Sciences in the College of Letters and Science, discovered Magnuviator ovimonsensis on Montana’s Egg Mountain and discovered two nearly complete fossils in a nesting site of the reptile. 

“We began excavating there in 2010, continuing through 2016,” Varricchio told the MSU News Service. “This was the first concentrated effort at Egg Mountain in 25 years. The lizard specimens were discovered during these new excavation efforts.”

The lizard was about 8 inches in length when it roamed the earth and probably fed on insects, Varricchio said. Eventhough the reptile was fairly non distinctive when compared to modern day ;lizards, it may help to determine evolutionary and biogeographic pathways.

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