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Ancient Amphibians

Full-body imprints of ancient amphibians found in museum's fossil collection.

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A rock that sat untouched in a Pennsylvania museum's fossil collection for years has rare full-body imprints of three ancient amphibians.

Researchers found the imprints in sandstone rocks collected in eastern Pennsylvania decades ago and stored in the museum in Reading, Pennsylvania. The body impressions of the salamander-like creatures are estimated to be 330 million years old, or about 100 million years before the first dinosaurs appeared, according to a BBC News article.


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The three impressions show the foot-long temnospondyls had webbed feet and smooth skin similar to modern-day amphibians, rather than armored bodies.