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An Early Eocene gecko from Baltic amber and its implications for the evolution of gecko adhesion

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 March 2005

Aaron M. Bauer
Department of Biology, Villanova University, 800 Lancaster Avenue, Villanova, PA 19085, U.S.A.
Wolfgang Böhme
Zoologisches Forschungsinstitut und Museum Alexander Koenig, Adenauerallee 160, D-53113 Bonn, Germany
Wolfgang Weitschat
Geologisch-Paläontologisches Institut und Museum der Universität Hamburg, Bundesstrasse 55, D-20146 Hamburg, Germany


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A new genus and species of gecko from the Lower Eocene of north-western Russia is described from a superbly preserved specimen in Baltic amber. It is the oldest gekkonid lizard to be represented by more than fragmentary skeletal remains. The digits of the specimen are mostly intact and reveal a unique combination of characters not seen in any living form. Expanded sub-digital scansors on the toes, however, are essentially similar to those of modern climbing geckos and verify the existence of a complex adhesive system 20–30 million years earlier than supported by previously discovered fossil geckos.

Research Article
2005 The Zoological Society of London