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Gecko Fossil Discovered In Amber

An Oregon State professor and a British colleague say they've discovered what's believed to be the oldest gecko fossil. 

It's embedded in a piece of amber unearthed in Myanmar  that dates back some 100 million years.  Researchers say it's possible the gecko ran into a resin pit to elude a predator, maybe a dinosaur.

Dr. George Poinar is a professor of zoology at Oregon State University.  He says the amber preserved the gecko's foot.

Poinar says the fossilized foot is much like those on today's geckos.  They have special pads that allow them to cling to things and walk on ceilings.

George Poinar: "My gosh 100 million years ago the gecko had already evolved this amazing ability, and it's extremely sophisticated."

Poinar said they were very lucky to make this discovery.  The researchers bought the amber from a Canadian miner in Myanmar.  Poinar said it's not likely the miner knew about the treasure inside.