Extinct reptile named for lizard king Jim Morrison

An extinct plant-eating reptile that roamed the steamy forests of South-east Asia some 40 million years ago has been named for Doors front man Jim Morrison.

Jason Head, a palaeontologist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and his colleagues describe the reptile — named Barbaturex morrisoni — this week in the scientific journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. It  lived in the strange days when the Earth’s poles were ice-free and atmospheric carbon dioxide levels were nearly twice what they are today, and, at six feet long and upwards of 60 pounds, it was one of the largest known lizards ever to walk on land.

B morrisoni’s remains had been waiting for the sun a long time. The giant lizard’s remains were unearthed in Myanmar — a country located between the Horse Latitudes — in the 1970s, but they languished at the University of California Museum of Palaeontology until a few years ago, when Head and his team began examining them — via redwolf.newsvine.com

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