Bridging the Gap: Kermit the Frog Inspires New Name for Ancient Fossil Discovery

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

In 2021, a postdoctoral paleontologist named Arjan Mann rediscovered a fossilized bone in Texas that had been initially found by paleontologist Nicholas Hotton III. The bone, just over an inch long, has well-preserved oval eye sockets and is classified as a temnospondyl, a precursor to modern amphibians that existed between the Carboniferous and Triassic periods.

The creature’s distinct wide face and eyes, reminiscent of the Muppets character Kermit the Frog, caught the attention of researchers. Despite some damage to the palate and brain case, the fossil displays remarkably preserved features, including tiny palpebral ossicles in the eyelids.

Calvin So, a doctoral student at George Washington University and lead author of the study, believes that naming the creature Kermit helps bridge the gap between scientific research and public interest in paleontology. This unique choice of name highlights the significance of sharing scientific discoveries with a wider audience.

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