Meet Kermitops gratus: The Ancient Amphibian Named After Kermit the Frog!

Ancient Amphibian Ancestor Named After Iconic Muppet: Meet Kermit the Proto-Frog

A recently discovered ancient amphibian has been given the name Kermitops gratus, in honor of the beloved Muppets character, Kermit the Frog. The creature lived 270 million years ago and had a skull that was as big as the palm of your hand. The fossilized bone, which is just over an inch long, has well-preserved oval eye sockets. The fossil was initially found in Texas by paleontologist Nicholas Hotton III and rediscovered in 2021 by postdoctoral paleontologist Arjan Mann.

Kermitops gratus is classified as a temnospondyl, a precursor to modern amphibians that existed between the Carboniferous and Triassic periods. What caught the attention of researchers was the creature’s distinct wide face and eyes, similar to those of Kermit. Despite some damage to the palate and brain case, the fossil displays remarkably preserved features such as tiny palpebral ossicles in the eyelids.

The choice to name this ancient amphibian after Kermit has been seen as a way to connect with the general public and make science more accessible. Calvin So, a doctoral student at George Washington University and lead author of the study, believes that naming it Kermit helps bridge the gap between scientific research and public interest in paleontology. This unique choice of name highlights the importance of sharing scientific discoveries with a wider audience.

In conclusion, Kermitops gratus is an important discovery for paleontologists and serves as a reminder of how far we have come since those early days of life on Earth. By naming this creature after such an iconic figure like Kermit, we can help bring attention to these discoveries and inspire future generations to pursue careers in science.

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