Fossilised skull reveals secrets of 11 million year old worm lizard

LAST UPDATED: 9 Jun, 2014 @ 23:28
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Fossilised skull reveals secrets of 11 million year old worm lizard

THE world’s first ever worm lizard skull has been found in Spain, revealing ground-breaking information about the bizarre snake-lizard hybrid.

The fossilized skull, which is only 1.1cm long, represents a new species – Blanus mendezi – and reveals that these strange reptiles have been largely unchanged for at least 11 million years.

Arnau Bolet, from the Catalunyan Institute of Paleontology in Barcelona, said: “The fossil record was until now limited to isolated and usually fragmented bones.

“So to study a complete fossil skull more than 11 million years old was an unprecedented opportunity.”

Worm lizards are still thriving today, with most of the 180 species living in the Arabian Peninsula, Africa and South America.

Some have rudimentary legs, but more have no limbs at all and simply resemble large earthworms.

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