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June 22 2013

Oddest couple ever found: Amphibian and mammal forerunner share 250 million year old burrow


250 million years ago, a mammal forerunner and an amphibian shared a burrow. Scientists from South Africa, Australia and France have discovered a world first association while scanning a 250 million year old fossilized burrow from the Karoo Basin of South Africa.

The burrow revealed two unrelated vertebrate animals nestled together and fossilized after being trapped by a flash flood event. Facing harsh climatic conditions subsequent to the Permo-Triassic (P-T) mass extinction, the amphibian Broomistega and the mammal forerunner Thrinaxodon cohabited in a burrow.

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