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African Fossils

We like to present you to the gallery from our discoveries of African fossils.

Researchers have long suspected that hippos evolved from a family of plant-eating, semi-aquatic mammals referred to as anthracotheres. The ancient animals that roamed freely all the way from North America to Asia inhabited Earth regarding forty million years ago. However, scientists may never verify the idea since the sole fossils of ancient hippos discovered so so much, dated back just 15 million years. Now due to Fabrice Lihoreau, there is finally some proof.

The paleontologist from the University of Montpellier in France and a few colleagues were examining ancient fossils at the Nairobi Museum in Kenya. That is when they stumbled upon a jaw that appeared to be from an anthracotheres mammal. Curious to see if they may realize additional remains belonging to the ancient animal, the team created their means to the Turkana Basin in Northern Kenya, where the fossil had been discovered.

Though there gave the impression to be varied fossils of crocodiles and different aquatic animals, the hard rock created excavating nearly not possible. Not prepared to allow up the paleontologists scouted the world until they found a tiny spot on Lokone Hill where the rock was softer, enabling them to it dissolve it with acid.

Sure enough, they were in a position to unearth teeth from what gave the look to be a new anthracotheres species. This was a lot of exciting than finding any alternative half of the body because molar patterns on mammal teeth are unique. They, so, function a reasonably fingerprint for the species, enabling paleontologists to attach ancient creatures to their fashionable-day relatives.

When the fossils that are estimated to be twenty eight million years recent were analyzed, the scientists knew that they'd finally found the missing link between the ancient and modern-day hippo. However, while, Epirigenys lokonensis, that roughly translates to "original hippo from Lokone," had similar teeth, that's where the resemblance ended.

Unlike today’s huge hippos that may weigh up to 420 pounds, their ancestor weighed not more than 220 pounds. According to the scientists, the slender animal about the scale of an overgrown sheep spent a majority of its time submerged in water. The svelte form and aquatic nature confirms another theory supported by genetic tests - hippos and whales come back from the same ancestor that inhabited our planet 53 million years ago! Lihoreau and his team hope that some day they can be able to search out a whole skeleton, allowing them to continue unraveling the mystery of the hippo’s family tree.

The scientists, who revealed their findings within the journal Nature Communications on February twenty fourth, believe that anthracotheres swam from Asia to Africa about thirty five million years ago. The fossil finds has led them to determine that the trendy hippo is one of terribly few mammals that evolved after arriving to Africa.

Lihoreau says that it's ironic that people visit Africa primarily to determine lions, giraffes antelopes and zebras, all of that arrived from Asia in their fashionable kind and are therefore not true "African" mammals. According to the paleontologist, that designation belongs solely to the hippo! Currently if only Gloria (Madagascar: Escape to Africa) had known this when she and her friends accidentally landed on the continent!


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