About Iridotriton hechti:
Iridotriton means "rainbow newt," since it was found in the Rainbow Park area of Dinosaur.The species is named for Max Hecht, who studied Jurassic salamanders. Its lifestyle was much like that of modern salamanders. They lived in wet environments such as flood plains, splays, and channels. On land they probably would eat insects and small invertebrates while they likely ate crustaceans in the water.
Why is Iridotriton hechti a superstar?
The only specimen ever found of Iridotriton was found at Dinosaur. It is also the type specimen or holotype, making it the first of its kind to be described. All specimens found later will be compared to it to determine if they are the same species. The specimen is relatively complete, containing most of the skull as well. Most salamander fossils are isolated limb bones due to their delicate nature
Jurassic Fact: The holotype of Iridotriton is the most complete salamander skeleton from Jurassic North America.
For more information: Visit the Quarry Exhibit Hall where a cast will be on display starting October 2011. CT images of the specimen are also available online.
Did You Know?
Dinosaurs were a remarkably successful group of animals. They lived on the Earth for 160 million years. The fossils at Dinosaur National Monument represent only 10 of the many dinosaur species that existed during that long era.