Scientists have discovered an ultra-rare fossil in Canyonlands National Park in southeastern Utah. The fossil is believed to be 290-million years old and could belong to a species that humans have been previously unaware of.
According to San Luis Obispo Tribune, the fossil was discovered in late October in a remote area of the park. The fossil was partially exposed and sticking out of some slickrock. Scientists say that the fossil was in a vulnerable position and could have been destroyed in a flood or rockslide. The fossil was extracted from the soil using a concrete saw, some hand tools, and a lot of care.
The fossil is “roughly the size of an iguana. The vertebrae, part of the head/skull, shoulder and forearm were identified by scientists. This animal is believed to be a newly discovered early reptile.
It is believed this fossil dates back to the “Permian Period”. The Permian Period ended approximately 252-million years ago. It was the last period of the Paleozoic Era. It was followed by the Jurassic Period which belongs to the Mesozoic Era. In other words, it was a really long time ago.