Investigadores del Museo de la Plata y del Instituto Argentino de la Antártida, en colaboración con un investigador alemán, descubrieron los fósiles de dos mamíferos del tamaño de ovejas en las proximidades de la base Marambio. Dichos restos, de 55.3 millones de años de antigüedad, representan la prueba más antigua de la presencia de mamíferos en la Antártida. Según los análisis realizados, los animales eran herbívoros, y durante los siguientes meses los científicos esperan encontrar más fósiles de esta naturaleza y antigüedad.

Investigators of the Plata Museum, the CONICET and the Argentine Antarctic Institute, with the collaboration of a German investigator, discovered the fossil remains of two mammals (similar in size to a sheep) in proximity to the Marambio Base. Both examples, 55.3 million years old, represent the most ancient evidence about the presence of terrestrial mammals in the Antarctic continent, although PhD Javier Gelfo is convinced that during the next summer campaign they will search for even more primitive remains. The mammals discovered were herbivores characterized by the hoofs that covered their toes in each of their four legs. They were found close to the Marambio base in Seymour Island, a site in the early Eocene where they also discovered the remains of shark teeth, mollusks and penguins. “One may wonder how these terrestrial animals could be found along these marine species and the answer is that after their death, they were transported by ancient rivers from continental areas to the river’s mouth”, explained Gelfo, investigator of the Paleontological Division of Vertebrates in the Plata Museum.

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