News Mash-up: Fossils

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Fossil of crocodile’s ‘grandfather’ discovered A 150-million-year-old fossilized skeleton discovered in the mountains of southern Chile was likely the ancestor of the modern crocodile, the Argentine Museum of Natural Sciences announced on July 23. The species, named Burkesuchus mallingrandensis, was found in 2014 in an Andean fossil deposit near the Patagonian town of Mallin Grande by Argentine and Chilean researchers. Since then it has been analyzed at the Argentine Museum of Natural Sciences in Buenos Aires. The specimen is a “grandfather” of current crocodiles and should allow scientists to understand how they evolved, the museum said. (Reuters) Fossil of new four-legged whale found in Egypt Scientists said on Aug. 25 they had discovered the 43-million-year-old fossil of a previously unknown amphibious four-legged whale species in Egypt — a discovery that will help trace the transition of whales from land to sea. The whale belongs to the Protocetidae, a group of extinct whales that falls in the middle of that transition, the Egyptian-led team of researchers said in a statement. The new whale, named Phiomicetus anubis, had an estimated body length of some 3 meters and a body mass of about 600 kg and was likely a top predator, the researchers said. Its skeleton revealed it as the most primitive protocetid whale known from Africa. (Reuters) These articles were provided by The Japan Times Alpha.

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