Navigation Links
Fossil teeth of browsing horse found in Panama Canal earthworks

Rushing to salvage fossils from the Panama Canal earthworks, Aldo Rincon, paleontology intern at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, unearthed a set of fossil teeth. Bruce J. MacFadden, curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida in Gainesville, describes the fossil as Anchitherium clarencei, a three-toed browsing horse, in the May 2009 issue of the Journal of Paleontology.

By far the most complete fossil of a horse collected at the site in excavations spanning the last century, characteristics such as the shape of the teeth confirm the identity of two earlier finds and indicate that this horse was primarily a forest-dwelling browser living in the area between 15 and 18 million years ago. This evidence supports MacFadden's earlier proposal that the habitat was probably a mosaic of relatively dense forest and open woodlands. The presence of this browsing horse in Panama significantly extends the southern tip of its range from previous finds from roughly the same period in Florida, Nebraska and South Dakota.

Expanding the Panama Canal waterway to make way for supersized ships is a dream come true for geologists and paleontologists, according to Carlos Jaramillo, senior scientist at the institute, who, in collaboration with the University of Florida and the Panama Canal Authority, has organized a team of researchers and students who move in following dynamite blasts to map and collect exposed fossils.

"This is one of very few places in the tropics where we have access to fresh outcrops before they are washed away by torrential rains or overgrown by vegetation, and we expect the fossils that we have been salvaging to resolve some major scientific mysteries," said Jaramillo. "What geological forces combined to create the Panama land bridge? Was the flora and fauna in Panama before the land bridge closed similar to that in North America, or did it include other elements?"


Contact: Beth King
703-487-3770 x8216
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Related biology news :

1. First orchid fossil puts showy blooms at some 80 million years old
2. Fossil data plugs gaps in current knowledge, study shows
3. Microfossils disclose geologic history of eastern California
4. Living fossils have hot sex
5. Fossilized cashew nuts reveal Europe was important route between Africa and South America
6. Fossil record supports evidence of impending mass extinction
7. Fossil record reveals elusive jellyfish more than 500 million years old
8. Can plant-based ethanol save us from our fossil fuel addiction?
9. 390-million-year-old scorpion fossil -- biggest bug known
10. Rodent fossils allows to determine climate of the Iberian Peninsula 6 million years ago
11. Fossils excavated from Bahamian blue hole may give clues of early life
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Fossil teeth of browsing horse found in Panama Canal earthworks
(Date:9/30/2015)... , Sept. 30, 2015  With nearly 300,000 ... number of new SCIs estimated to reach 12,500 annually, ... Southern California Resource Services for Independent Living (SCRS-IL) ... in California opening doors to ... of programs and services, notably assistive technology services and ...
(Date:9/29/2015)... SUNNYVALE, Calif. , Sept. 29, 2015 ... technology improves employee productivity while also saving energy ... features such as Low Power Active Mode and embedded ... workplace transformation Fujitsu today shows that ... of new and refreshed models to its enterprise desktop ...
(Date:9/28/2015)... 2015  The monitoring of vital signs, such ... is an essential component of patient assessment. Changes ... in a patient,s condition. However, in general care ... taken during routine observation rounds only once every ... between these observation rounds, the warning signs can ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2015)... octubre de 2015 El 8 de octubre, ... récord en el congreso con su declaración acerca del ... Plasma Awareness Week (IPAW), que se celebrará del 11 ... la Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association (PPTA) y ... , Aumentar la concienciación mundial acerca de la donación ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... 2015 LabStyle Innovations Corp. ... today announced its Medical Director, Dr. Moshe Kamar ... 5th EAI International Conference on Wireless Mobile Communication ... in mobile and wireless technologies," the conference will take ... October 14 - 16, 2015. The conference is endorsed ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2015 , ... ... today that Dr. Srini Srinivasan, has joined the firm as a Premier Expert ... professional stature enable them to bring extraordinary value to the company's clients. ...
(Date:10/11/2015)... ... October 11, 2015 , ... ... has been officially launched and multiple surgeries have been completed with this new ... of the Neuroscience & Spine Center of the Carolinas. The Revolution™ Spinal ...
Breaking Biology Technology: