We’ve all secretly known that iguanas are really miniature dinosaurs left over the days when the Brontosaurus and Tricerotops ruled the earth! Well now some scientists in Antarctica have discovered there is some truth to this.
As reported by Business Insider:
Paleontologists have unearthed a new dinosaur relative in the rocks near the South Pole.
They named it Antarctanax shackletoni, or “Antarctic king.”
It was a carnivorous reptile about the size of an iguana that lived roughly 250 million years ago.
The scientists go on to say that although this specimen was a carnivore, it may not have had any teeth!
At the time Antarctanax lived, temperatures in Antarctica rarely dipped below freezing. (The continent froze over much later, around 30 million years ago.)
The reptile was about 4 to 5 feet long, and ate bugs, early mammals, and amphibians.
“We think it’s an insectivore because of its body size,” Peecock said. “We didn’t find any teeth, but all of Antarctanax’s relatives were carnivorous at the time, so we’re pretty confident.”
Antarctanax shackletoni’s name is in part an homage to British polar explorer Ernest Shackleton, who led multiple Antarctic expeditions in the early 1900s.