alexa 'Fire frogs' and eel-like amphibians: The Field Museum's Brazilian fossil discovery

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'Fire frogs' and eel-like amphibians: The Field Museum's Brazilian fossil discovery

Several new species of amphibians and a reptile that lived in what's now Brazil from 278 million years ago have just been discovered and described by a team of scientists from around the world, including Chicago's Field Museum. Their paper helps fill in gaps in our knowledge about fauna in the southern tropics of Pangaea.The paper describes two new species, both archaic aquatic carnivorous amphibians. One, Timonya annae (tih-MOAN-yuh ann-AYE), was a small, fully aquatic amphibian with fangs and gills, looking something like a cross between a modern Mexican salamander and an eel. The other new species, Procuhy nazarienis (pro-KOO-ee naz-ar-ee-en-sis), an amphibian whose name in the Timbira language of its Brazilian homeland, means "fire frog." Procuhy didn't live in fire, though--it spent its whole life in water. Its name comes from the Pedra de Fogo ("Rock of Fire") Formation where it's from, so named for the presence of flint. Although both species are distant relatives of modern salamanders, they are not true frogs or salamanders, but members of an extinct group that was common during the Permian.

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