Fossil of plant-eating reptile discovered in New Mexico
The earliest example of a reptile that eats plant has been discovered in the fossil record in southern New Mexico, the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science told.
The museum announced this week, saying that the unique structure of the jaws, teeth and skull of the sail-backed reptile clearly shows that it was an herbivore. Not only that, but it also indicated that such specialized plant-eating wasn’t earlier known in reptiles older than approximately 200 million years.
The fossil bones were found by Ethan Schuth near Alamogordo while he was on a class field trip to University of Oklahoma geology in 2013. The bones were known to be part of a well preserved but incomplete skeleton.
Field crews spent almost a year for collecting the bones from the site and a lot more time was spent to remove the hard sandstone which surrounds the fossils so that the research could ensue.
Paleontology curator Spencer Lucas along with his team from the museum determined that the bones were almost 300 million years old, which means that the reptile lived during the early Permian Period, or over 50 million years before the dinosaurs started originating.
Lucas and research associate Matt Celeskey have been able to identify the skeleton as belonging to an absolutely new genus and species that they named as Gordodon kraineri. The world ‘Gordodon’ is derived from the Spanish word gordo, which means fat, and the Greek word ‘odon’, or tooth, as the species had quite large pointed teeth at the tips of its jaws.
The species name kraineri actually honors Karl Krainer, who is an Austrian geologist who is known to contribute to knowledge about the Permian period in New Mexico.
“Gordodon actually rewrites the books by pushing back our understanding of the evolution of such specialized herbivory by almost 100 million years,” Lucas told in a statement that was issued on Wednesday.
Gordodon was known to be about 5 feet long and weighed approximately 75 pounds. It was believed to be a selective feeder that was dependent on high-nutrient plants because of the advanced structure of its teeth, skull and jaws.
Experts at the museum say that other early herbivorous reptiles were not known to be selective, chomping on any plants that they came across. They say that Gordodon had some of the same specializations that were found in modern animals such as deer and goats.
How Business Leaders Can Address the Climate Crisis
There is growing pressure for business leaders to take action for reducing their emissions and figuring out ways to deal with the causes and consequences of climate change. Many businesses are seeking a better understanding of the risks and opportunities of our changing climate and sustainability conditions. Furthermore, engaged customers, stakeholders, and suppliers, are putting increasing pressure on innovative and effective climate change and renewable energy solutions. .
In order to make businesses more ecological, regenerative, and future-fit for taking the appropriate actions for climate change, we have consulted professionals in the field like Dr. Anneloes Smitsman to help us get through this crisis.
Smitsman is a revered Dutch futurist, systems scientist, and award-winning pioneer in human development and system change who recently launched the EARTHwise Constitution for a Planetary Civilization, based on her work with living systems. She offers a diverse and inspiring range of systemic solutions that the professional sector requires for addressing the greatest challenges of the 21st Century. In particular for developing the necessary capacities and systems for co-creating thriving worlds and futures, based on new regenerative business models.
Smitsman’s career spans many domains, starting in law and political science, she then expanded her work to training business and educational leaders and companies in developing essential capacities for systemic transformation, innovation, corporate sustainability, and climate change preparedness.
Smitsman is also known for her work as an innovative leader and CEO of EARTHwise Centre, a non-profit company providing education, leadership, research, system design, and publications in social innovation, human and organizational development.
Smitsman is also unique in how she brought about revolutionary change in fields of education, leadership, systems science, regenerative economics, sustainability, and more. And as a professional in the industry, here are a couple of things we have learned from her work for reducing your ecological footprint and creating more regenerative and sustainable business models.
Developing Climate Action Plans
The first step is to create climate action plans for measuring the sustainability impacts of your business operations, based on measurements that account for essential sustainability thresholds, planetary boundaries, social ceilings, and fair allocations. Developing a genuine action plan, based on innovation and business leadership for climate change, requires going further than seeking to achieve standardized sustainability targets. Instead, set goals that challenge your organization to become regenerative ‘by design’ and thriving in terms of whole system impact, Smitsman explains. Focus on creating and distributing value beyond your own stakeholders or shareholder interests. Go further than trying to minimize harm, and instead provide leadership and capacities for business operations that focus on creating maximum goodness and whole system value.
Smitsman also reminds us that leadership for the ‘commons’ requires innovation through collective decision-making with regards to fair and inclusive allocations of resource distributions and stewardship for the wellbeing of current and future generations. Conventional market mechanisms that focus merely on carbon offsets and carbon trading, will not provide the incentives for the necessary systemic transformations that are required economically and politically.
Building a Culture of Awareness
It is crucially important to add sustainability, regeneration, and thrivability as a part of your culture. To achieve this, you will need to expand your knowledge of the necessary energy and resource transitions, climate change adaptation and mitigation, low-carbon innovation, as well knowledge of the operational principles of living systems. There are many online courses available to help you prepare your business for the times ahead, and unlock new growth opportunities by developing a life-centered culture of leadership and innovation. This is also the focus of Smitsman’s leadership programs for business transformation and systemic innovation.
Working with Sustainable Suppliers
Knowing your partners is particularly important for companies with supply chains. You should take time to choose the best sustainable suppliers who focus on good environmental and sustainability practices. Furthermore, you can choose to reward suppliers who have outperformed your expectations by providing an improved sustainable service or product, as such encouraging continuous improvements for people, planet, and sustainable profits.
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