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3 million year tapir skeleton found in Spain

  • 30-05-2012 10:35pm
    Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Adam Khor

    I translate (better than Google Translator btw XD)

    "A full and articulated skeleton of a three million year old tapir was found in the archaeological site of Camp dels Ninots, Gerona, Spain. This site contains, with this new discovery, the 70% of all fossils of this species known in the world"

    "There are other many sites in Europe with isolated remains of tapir, but this is the only complete one found, articulated and in superb condition" say the researchers.
    The measurements of the skeleton suggest it was an adult individual about 1.8 meters long, 1.3 meters tall and about 250 kgs in weight (smaller than modern day tapirs) and belonged to the species Tapirus avernensis.
    Tapirs were abundant in the Mediterranean 3 million years ago when climate was subtropical, more humid and with abundant rainfall. The finding of three skeletons confirms that this species, extinct in Europe at the beginning of the Pleistocene, had found a suitable habitat in the Camp del Ninots area.
    Today, tapirs are found in very specific zones of Central America and Asia, and the Tapirus indicus of black and white skin is the most closely related to Tapirus avernensis.