350-Year-Old Animal Burrow Discovered in Pennsylvania

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A burrow dug by a modern-day animal in Australia

Brooke Whatnall

Pennsylvania: Home to all your breaking animal burrow news!

Move over, Punxsutawney Phil. There’s a new local creature striking the Keystone State’s fancy, one that was born 350 million years ago.

Researchers at Kutztown University have discovered a fossilized burrow in rocks exposed by road cuts, that they believe is the oldest ever discovered of a four-legged creature. Though the hole had long since been filled in by stone, the fossil shows a telltale opening that seemed to indicate that it had been dug. As paleontologist Ed Simpson explained:

It’s very difficult to get an erosive feature like this. […] The only thing that comes close is a pothole, which is formed in a river by rocks, but the hole was too deep and the upward arc of the tunnel can’t be easily explained as a pothole.

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Because of the hole’s age and shape, the team speculated that it was dug by an early Pennsylvanian who was probably a reptile or amphibian with four legs, a tail and a spine. Could it still be walking the earth today? We don’t know, but if it is, that spine part means that it’s probably not hanging out in Philadelphia. (via Discovery)