Enigmatic amphibians in mid-Cretaceous amber were chameleon-like ballistic feeders

Juan D. Daza*, Edward L. Stanley, Arnau Bolet, Aaron M. Bauer, J. Salvador Arias, Andrej Čerňanský, Joseph J. Bevitt, Philipp Wagner, Susan E. Evans

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Albanerpetontids are tiny, enigmatic fossil amphibians with a distinctive suite of characteristics, including scales and specialized jaw and neck joints. Here we describe a new genus and species of albanerpetontid, represented by fully articulated and three-dimensional specimens preserved in amber. These specimens preserve skeletal and soft tissues, including an elongated median hyoid element, the tip of which remains embedded in a distal tongue pad. This arrangement is very similar to the long, rapidly projecting tongue of chameleons. Our results thus suggest that albanerpetontids were sit-and-wait ballistic tongue feeders, extending the record of this specialized feeding mode by around 100 million years.

Original languageEnglish
Article number687
Issue number6517
Publication statusPublished - 6 Nov 2020

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