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New fossil find prompts Pangaea split rethink

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Author Topic: New fossil find prompts Pangaea split rethink  (Read 1739 times)
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« on: June 18, 2018, 08:54:57 pm »

An Incredible Fossil Just Changed What We Know About The Split of Pangaea

Earth's super-continent lasted longer than we thought.
24 MAY 2018

A 130-million-year-old fossil has revealed that the ancient super-continent Pangaea may have broken apart more slowly than scientists previously thought.

The fossilised skull, which was found in eastern Utah, has revealed an entirely new group of reptile-like mammals that existed in North America.

"Based on the unlikely discovery of this near-complete fossil cranium, we now recognize a new, cosmopolitan group of early mammal relatives," said lead author Adam Huttenlocker from the University of Southern California.

The newly-found species has been named Cifelliodon wahkarmoosuch in honour of the famed palaeontologist Richard Cifelli and the local Ute tribe's word for "yellow cat".

Using high-resolution computed tomography (CT) scanners, the researchers estimated that the creature weighed up to 2.5 pounds (1.1 kg) and was probably the size of a small hare – a giant among its contemporaries at the time.
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