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Fossil named after FedEx

world Updated: Mar 16, 2010 23:31 IST

Fossil hunters have named a 300m-year-old amphibian in honour of the courier service FedEx, after unearthing the creature on land owned by the company near a US airport.

The remains of the ancient amphibian, which lived 70m years before the first dinosaurs, were recovered in 2004 from a slab of rock near Pittsburgh International Airport by Adam Striegel, an amateur fossil enthusiast on a geology field trip.

Researchers at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh described the creature on the basis of its remarkably well-preserved 12cm-long skull, which survived fossilisation without being crushed.

A group led by David Berman, curator of vertebrate palaeontology at the museum, identified the amphibian as a new genus and species, Fedexia striegeli, in the institution’s journal, Annals of Carnegie Museum.