A Canadian scientist said that it may be possible to find new salamander species in amphibian fossils formed during the time dinosaurs roamed the earth.
Robert Carroll, a Montreal-based paleontologist, is currently in Hohhot, north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, to study 50 amphibian fossils at the regional museum. All the fossils date back to the Mesozoic, the third era of geologic time.
The 67-year-old McGill University professor said Chinese scientists named about eight species of salamanders through fossil analysis and new ones may be found.
"Some of the fossils do look very different," he said. "It may be necessary to name and recognize new ones that no one has previously described."
Carroll said his three-week study in Hohhot, beginning May 25, was only the beginning of his research.
"I'm taking photos and making drawings of the specimens so that I can study them back in Montreal," he said.
As a vertebrate paleontologist, Carroll said he studies the amphibians that roamed the Earth about 300 million years ago and is very interested in how ancient amphibians evolved into modern salamanders.
He was awarded the Romer Simpson Medal by the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology in 2004, the society's top award.