Extinct Lizard Named After The Doors’ Singer Jim Morrison

A newly described 6ft lizard that roamed South East Asia from 36-40 million years ago has been named after The Doors singer Jim Morrison.

The choice of name Barbaturex morrisoni is a play on the late frontman’s epithet “The Lizard King”.

Higher temperatures at the time are thought to have helped the lizard evolve to its unusual size.

The scientists were surprised to find that the reptile successfully competed for food against mammals.

The study is published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

A team of palaeontologists analysed fossils of the giant reptile and discovered it was the largest plant-eating lizard to have ever existed.

It lived alongside other herbivorous and carnivorous mammals during the Eocene epoch. It was likely to have weighed about 27.2 kg (60 pounds).

Modern day lizards, like iguanas and agamids, are smaller than other herbivores and provide tasty meals for many larger predators.

But Barbaturex morrisoni was larger than most carnivorous mammals.

 

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