Discovery of 30 million year old teeth suggests hippos and whales are ‘relatives’Md Noman Siddique (Author) Published Date : Feb 27, 2015 11:44 IST
The new findings of a new species has been made by researchers which identifies a 30-million-year old teeth discovered in Kenya which brings back together the modern day hippopotamus to its family.
These molars are of a newly recognized hippo ancestor known as Epirigenys lokonensis. This species which has gone extinct long ago is now being associated with the most ancient known family of hippopotamuses in Africa along with their ancestors who inhabited in Asia.
The lead author of the study Fabrice Lihoreau of the University of Montpellier, France, said We know quite well the story of whales, because lots of people are looking for fossils of whales, and we have a complete evolutionary history of them. But for the hippo, we only knew what was going on in the past 20 million years. Earlier than that, we couldn't recognize anything as a hippo.
In 1994, in an expedition led by Meave Leakey, this molar was first discovered. This new panels of researchers have now gone back to the previous African 2007 lake bed subsequent to their realization that these specimens probably has been the missing dots that they have been looking for all this time.
The harmonization of the Epirigenys lokonensis s teeth have pattern which is uncanny similarity with the molars of anthracotheres. Anthracotheres are families of extinct relatives of hippos and whales which have lived for about 40 millions years from now in the regions that we call Southeast Asia today.
The enamels on Epirigenys lokonensis were thicker and points are blunter in comparison. The outline of their premolars also carries a lot of similarity with the hippo family members which existed about 21 million years prior to now in the regions of Uganda.
This anthracothere appears to be an obvious midway linkage between those formerly discovered and the modern day hippo.Currently, the team only has possession of the teeth. These are frequently the last component of a skeleton to continue to exist. As Lokone appears to have had an profusion of the creatures, Lihoreau and his peers are confident they shall unearth an entire skeleton to conduct a research on shortly.
Discovery of 30 million year old teeth suggests hippos and whales are ‘relatives’