Lizard King: Extinct lizard named after The Doors' Jim Morrison

Artist's rendition of Barbaturex morrisoni. (Credit Angie Fox, Nebraska State Museum of Natural History, University of Nebraska-Lincoln)
Artist's rendition of Barbaturex morrisoni. (Credit Angie Fox, Nebraska State Museum of Natural History, University of Nebraska-Lincoln)

Paleontologists have discovered a 6-foot lizard that roamed Southeast Asia between 36 and 40 million years ago, and named it after The Doors singer Jim Morrison, whose nickname was "The Lizard King."

Barbaturex morrisoni, or the Bearded King Morrison, evolved to its unusual size in response to elevated global temperature during a period known as the Paleocene greenhouse during the Eocene epoch.

Lead researcher Jason Head from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln believes his study will show how climate helped the reptile evolve.

The giant lizard weighed up to 60 pounds, and unlike modern large reptiles, which are carnivores, it ate only plants. "The large size of the Lizard King certainly protected it from many predators. But there is no doubt that it was hunted by mammalian carnivores of the day," Head said in a release.

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Retrieved on 21 December 2018 from https://www.upi.com/Science_News/2013/06/05/Lizard-King-Extinct-lizard-named-after-The-Doors-Jim-Morrison/6841370429557/

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