Skip to main content Text Only version of this page
BBC
Home
TV
Radio
Talk
Where I Live
A-Z Index
Games
Games
Chat
Chat
Vote
Vote
Win
Win
Quiz
Quiz
Club
Club
 Homepage
 UK
 World
 Sport
 Music
 TV/Film
 Animals
 Sci/Tech
 Weather
 Pictures
 Find Out
 The Team

Contact Us
Help
Teachers





  Oldest salamander fossils discovered
Updated 31 March 2003, 17.14
Fossil of a salamander
Scientists have discovered fossils of the earliest salamanders ever known.

The salamanders have been preserved in the ancient volcanic ash of Mongolia and China.

This is how a normal salamander would look
This is how a normal salamander would look
What did it eat?

Some of the thousands of fossils are 165 million years old, much older than examples found elsewhere.

The fossils have given the scientists clues about how salamanders evolved.

One fossil even shows an eye and a stomach full of the salamander's dinner - clam shrimps!

Fact File
Salamander facts
They can live on land and in water
They can regrow their legs or tail
They are harmless
They attract mates with an underwater dance
The scientists from the USA and China say it's a really unusual to get the chance to see animals like this.

Professor Neil Shubin said: "What excites us is that we're not only seeing the earliest known salamanders in the fossil record, but we've thousands of them."

"There are whole bodies, impressions of soft tissue preserved, and stomach contents."

The sizes of the salamanders range from between just one millimetre long up to adults of 20 centimetres long.

Watch/ListenBORDER=0
Hear Story!Hear Story!
BORDER=0

More InfoBORDER=0
ChatTalk about animals on the messageboard

BORDER=0

Past StoriesBORDER=0
Fossil shows humans were 'less chimp-like'
Scientists find dinosaur fossil with four wings
Dog-sized dinos grew into big heads
Scientists discover dinosaur sick!

BORDER=0


 


E-mail this page to a friend



Full Sci/Tech Section
Also in Sci Tech now:
New Beagle mission plan revealed
Antarctic food chain under threat
Arctic 'to melt within 70 years'
Win these ace GameCube Zelda games
>>CBBC
R U a safe surfer?
What's your fave computer game? Game On! Vote now for your fave
How much do you know about DNA?
Do u picture message? Are u into photo messaging?
Space shuttle Columbia (Copyright Dr Scott Lieberman - AP) All the stories & pix about tragic Columbia
© BBC Back to top^^
Homepage | UK | World | Sport | Music | TV/Film | Animals | Sci/Tech | Weather
Pictures | Find Out | The Team | Games | Chat | Vote | Win | Quiz | Club