Mann and So with Kermitops and Kermit

James D. Tiller and James Di Loreto, Smithsonian.
March 21, 2024
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Two people, one holding a small fossilized skull, stand beside green felt puppet, Kermit.
James D. Tiller and James Di Loreto, Smithsonian.

Arjan Mann (right), a Smithsonian postdoctoral paleontologist and former Peter Buck Fellow, and Calvin So (left), a doctoral student at George Washington University, holding the fossil skull of Kermitops in front of the Kermit the Frog puppet display in the “Entertainment Nation” exhibition at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

Scientists have uncovered the fossilized skull of a 270-million-year-old ancient amphibian ancestor in the collection of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. In a paper published today, March 21, in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, the team of researchers described the fossil as a new species of proto-amphibian, which they named Kermitops gratus in honor of the iconic Muppet, Kermit the Frog.

Note: Fossil skull of Kermitops; USNM PAL 407585, Department of Paleobiology, Smithsonian Institution.

Note: Kermit the Frog puppet; 1994.0037.01, Gift of Jim Henson Productions. From the collections at National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.

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