Frogging Back in Time: The Ancient Amphibian That Shares a Name with Kermit the Frog

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

In a groundbreaking discovery, researchers have named a newly discovered ancient amphibian ancestor after the beloved Muppets character, Kermit the Frog. The creature, known as Kermitops gratus, lived 270 million years ago and had a skull the size of the palm of your hand. The fossilized bone, 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. The creature’s distinct wide face and eyes, reminiscent of the Muppets character, 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 this ancient amphibian after 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. By connecting their work with popular culture through names like Kermitops gratus, scientists can make their findings more accessible to people who may not otherwise be interested in paleontology or science more broadly.

In a groundbreaking discovery, researchers have named a newly discovered ancient amphibian ancestor after the beloved Muppets character, Kermit the Frog. The creature, known as Kermitops gratus, lived 270 million years ago and had a skull the size of the palm of your hand. The fossilized bone, just over an inch long, has well-preserved oval…

Leave a Reply