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Breakthroughs in Science

Oldest Gecko Fossil Ever Discovered!

August 28th, 2008

Approximately 100 million years old, that is:

gecko in amber

This is at least 40 million years older than the oldest known gecko fossil.

Scientists from Oregon State University and the Natural History Museum in London have announced the discovery of the oldest known fossil of a gecko, with body parts that are forever preserved in life-like form after 100 million years of being entombed in amber.

Due to the remarkable preservative power of being embalmed in amber, the tiny foot of this ancient lizard still shows the tiny “lamellae,” or sticky toe hairs, that to this day give modern geckos their unusual ability to cling to surfaces or run across a ceiling. Research programs around the world have tried to mimic this bizarre adhesive capability, with limited success.

The entire media release can be found here.

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