|Named By:||Nicholas R. Longrich, BhartinAnjan S. Bhullar & Jacques A. Gauthier in 2013|
|Time Period:||Late Cretaceous, 66 Ma|
|Location:||USA, Montana - Hell Creek Formation, Wyoming - Lance Formation|
|Size:||Roughly 30 centimetres long|
|Fossil(s):||Remains of two individuals, consisting of lower jaw fragments and teeth|
|Classification:||| Chordata | Reptilia | Squamata | Polyglyphanodontia ||
Obamadon is an extinct genus of polyglyphanodontian lizard from the Late Cretaceous of North America. Fossils have been found in the Hell Creek Formation of Montana and the Lance Formation of Wyoming. Researchers describe it as being distinguished by its "tall, slender teeth with large central cusps separated from small accessory cusps by lingual grooves." The type species was named Obamadon gracilis after United States president Barack Obama, "in reference to the tall, straight teeth, and the manner in which Mr. Obama has acted as a role model of good oral hygiene for the world." According to Nicholas R. Longrich of Yale University, the creature "was probably a foot long, [and] with these tall, slender teeth it used to eat insects and plant matter."
The lizard was identified as part of a search of museum collections to find snake and lizard species that had lived immediately prior to the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event, in which the dinosaurs (with the exception of birds) died out. Its identification was published by Longrich, Bhullar and Gauthier in a paper titled "Mass extinction of lizards and snakes at the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary", published on December 10, 2012 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The scientists found that lizards and snakes had been more badly hit by the mass extinction than previously thought, with 83 percent of species - including Obamadon - dying out. All present-day species of lizards are descended from members of the surviving 17 percent.