Frogging Out: Scientists Name Ancient Amphibian After Kermit The Frog

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

A recently discovered ancient amphibian ancestor has been named in honor of the iconic Muppets character, Kermit the Frog. The creature, known as Kermitops gratus, lived 270 million years ago and had a skull the size of a palm of your hand. The fossilized bone, just over an inch long, has exceptionally well-preserved oval eye sockets.

Kermitops gratus is classified as a temnospondyl, an ancestor to modern amphibians that existed between the Carboniferous and Triassic periods. Researchers were drawn to the creature’s distinctive wide face and eyes that resembled those of Kermit the Frog. Despite some damage to the palate and brain case, the fossil features remarkably preserved elements such as tiny palpebral ossicles in the eyelids.

The decision to name this ancient amphibian after Kermit has sparked excitement among scientists and members of the public alike. Dr. Calvin So, a doctoral student at George Washington University and lead author of the study, believes that naming it Kermit can help 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.

“We chose to name this creature after Kermit because he is not only beloved by many but also represents a sense of wonder and curiosity,” said Dr. So.

The fossil was initially found in Texas by paleontologist Nicholas Hotton III but was rediscovered in 2021 by postdoctoral paleontologist Arjan Mann.

Overall, this discovery sheds new light on our understanding of amphibian evolution and reminds us that science can be both educational and entertaining for people from all walks of life.

“This discovery shows us that science can be fun and engaging,” said Dr. So.

As researchers continue to study this fascinating creature, we can look forward to learning even more about its role in shaping modern amphibians today.

Leave a Reply