Iguanid Lizard from the Upper Cretaceous of Brazil

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Science  18 May 1973:
Vol. 180, Issue 4087, pp. 748-751
DOI: 10.1126/science.180.4087.748


Pristiguana brasiliensis, new genus and species, from the Upper Cretaceous Baurú Formation of Brazil, is the oldest fossil referable to the living lizard family Iguanidae. It resembles living primitive South American iguanids in some features, but also shows similarity to members of the related family Teiidae. Iguanid fossils do not appear in North America until the early Eocene, probably by waif dispersal from South America during the late Paleocene or early Eocene. A southern continental (Gondwanan) origin of iguanids is more plausible than the northern one often suggested.