Postdoctoral paleontologist Arjan Mann rediscovered the skull of a newly discovered amphibian ancestor, Kermitops gratus, in 2021. The well-preserved fossil had oval eye sockets and a cartoony, broad face with eyes reminiscent of a famous doll. Despite some damage to the palate and braincase, the skull still showed intricate details such as the arrangement of the palpebral ossicles, tiny bones in the animal’s eyelids.

Calvin So, a doctoral student at George Washington University and lead author of the study, pointed out that using the name Kermit for the fossil was significant because it could help bridge the gap between science and everyday life. This discovery sheds light on how amphibians evolved over time and also reveals interesting features of ancient creatures like Kermitops gratus.

By Samantha Johnson

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