Contrary to generally accepted belief, Anatolia was not geographically isolated 25 million years ago (during the Oligocene epoch): this has just been demonstrated by researchers from the Laboratoire des Mcanismes et Transferts en Gologie (LMTG) (CNRS/ University of Toulouse 3/IRD) and the Palobiodiversit et paloenvironnements laboratory (CNRS/Musum national dhistoire naturelle/University of Paris 6). These results were obtained thanks to analyses of the first fossilized giant rhinocerotoid bone discovered in 2002 in an Anatolian deposit during a Franco-Turkish paleontology expedition funded by the ECLIPSE INSU-CNRS program. The presence of this bone in Anatolia, with the remains of associated fauna, are indicative of animal migrations between Europe and Asia. The results, published online in the March 2008 issue of the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, thus call into question the isolation of Anatolia, which until now was considered to have been an archipelago.
This is the first time that a fossilized giant rhinocerotoid bone dating from the Oligocene epoch (a period corresponding to intense tectonic movements around the Mediterranean Sea) has been found in Anatolia. Discovered in 2002 during a Franco-Turkish paleontology expedition in the region of ankiriorum (Central Anatolia, Turkey), the bone fragment from the forearm (radius) described by the scientists measures 1.20 meters long and probably belonged to a very large male (about 5 meters to the shoulder), attributed to the Paraceratherium genus. These herbivorous animals, also called baluchitheres or indricotheres, are considered to have been the largest terrestrial mammals that ever existed, equal in size to the largest mammoths (with a height to the shoulder estimated to be 5 meters or more, and a body weight of 15 to 20 tons).
As well as this specimen of Paraceratherium, known to have existed notably in Pakistan, China, Mongolia and Kazakhstan, the remains of ruminants and rod
|Contact: Laetitia Louis|