Comments Subscribe to Personal Liberty News Feed Subscribe to Personal Liberty
 

Extinct camel fossils unearthed in Panama

February 29, 2012 by  

GAINESVILLE, Fla., Feb. 29 (UPI) — Paleontologists have named two extinct camel species from a fossil dig in Panama they say shed new light on the history of the tropics.

Researchers from the University of Florida said the two species of ancient camels, dubbed Aguascalietia panamaensis and Aguascalientia minuta, are the oldest mammals found in Panama.

Their discovery extends the distribution of mammals to their southernmost point in the ancient tropics of Central America, a university release reported Wednesday.

“We’re discovering this fabulous new diversity of animals that lived in Central America that we didn’t even know about before,” study co-author Bruce MacFadden, vertebrate paleontology curator at the Florida Museum on the UF campus, said.

“The family originated about 30 million years ago and they’re found widespread throughout North America, but prior to this discovery, they were unknown south of Mexico.”

Despite Central America’s close proximity to South America, there was no connection between continents until the Isthmus of Panama formed, researchers said.

“People think of camels as being in the Old World, but their distribution in the past is different than what we know today,” MacFadden said. “The ancestors of llamas originated in North America and then when the land bridge formed about 4 to 5 million years ago, they dispersed into South America and evolved into the llama, alpaca, guanaco and vicuna.”

Paleontologists and geologists are working with the Panama Canal Authority and scientists at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute to conduct excavations during a five-year window of opportunity created by the Panama Canal expansions that began in 2009.

Spencer Cameron

Facebook Conversations

Join the Discussion:
View Comments to “Extinct camel fossils unearthed in Panama”

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.

Is there news related to personal liberty happening in your area? Contact us at newstips@personalliberty.com

Bottom
close[X]

Sign Up For Personal Liberty Digest™!

PL Badge

Welcome to PersonalLiberty.com,
America's #1 Source for Libertarian News!

To join our group of freedom-loving individuals and to get alerts as well as late-breaking conservative news from Personal Liberty Digest™...

Privacy PolicyYou can opt out at any time. We protect your information like a mother hen. We will not sell or rent your email address to anyone for any reason.