Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsFossils

SCIENCE FILE / An exploration of issues and trends
affecting science, medicine and the | Science in Brief

Trove of Fossils Sheds Light on Salamanders' Origin

March 29, 2001

A "salamander Pompeii" suggests that one of the major groups of living amphibians originated in Asia, University of Chicago researchers reported in today's Nature. The team discovered a treasure trove of more than 500 salamander fossils in Northern China dating from the Late Jurassic, more than 150 million years ago. The animals were preserved by a volcanic eruption.

Biologist Neil Shubin said that the animals are very similar to their modern ancestors. "Almost all the major groups of salamander evolved very early," he said, "and not much has been happening since."

Compiled by Times medical writer Thomas H. Maugh II

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|