A strange extinct animal discovered in Scotland

An entirely new species of four-legged mammal was found by scientists roughly 336 million years ago in what is now Scotland, but was once part of a continent that was quite close to the equator. Edinburgh was virtually on the equator at that time.

Approximately half-metre in length, with a broad belly and tail, as well as a large toe in its hind leg, which let it to leap and jump with great agility.

The animal, which is now known as Termonerpeton makrydactylus, was a tetrapod from which reptiles descended and is considered to be the ancestor of all reptiles.


Originally found by the fossil hunter Stan Wood in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the long-fingered creature was conserved at the University of Cambridge, where research has only lately revealed the creature’s significance.

During the Carboniferous period, the animal lived and died, and its fossil was discovered in the East Kirkton quarry. All of the fossils discovered in this quarry are from terrestrial animals that had most likely fallen into the water. There were a total of eight tetrapods discovered in this quarry.

West Lothian’s East Kirkton Quarry is a historic limestone quarry that is located near Edinburgh in the county of West Lothian. It is presently best known as a fossil site for terrestrial fossils from the fossil-poor Romer Gap, a period of 15 million years in the early Carboniferous that occurred during the fossil-poor Romer Gap epoch.



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