Scientists find ancient fossils in Panama

April 27, 2013
Part of a jawbone thought to belong to an extinct type of horse called 'Anchitherium clarencei' found by paleontologists during a project to recover fossils during the Panama Canal expansion, is displayed after a news conference in Panama City, Friday, April 26, 2013. A group of scientists and paleontologists have completed a project with the Panama Canal Authority to recover the fossils of at least ten new species of animals that inhabited the earth millions of years ago. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)

U.S. and Panamanian paleontologists have discovered fossils of several species that lived in Panama more than 20 million years ago.

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute Bruce MacFadden says in a statement the discovery will help to better understand the biodiversity and of the Central American isthmus during the Tertiary Period.

The Smithsonian and the Panama Canal Authority began a joint effort five years ago to look for and dig up samples of fossils, rocks, shells and driftwood in the area of the Panama Canal.

A man looks at the bones of a 'Dioplotherium,' an extinct type of marine mammal found by paleontologists during a project to recover fossils during the Panama Canal expansion, is displayed after a news conference in Panama City, Friday, April 26, 2013. A group of scientists and paleontologists have completed a project with the Panama Canal Authority to recover fossils of at least ten new species of animals that inhabited the earth millions of years ago. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)

Among other things, the scientists found pieces of teeth that belonged to an extinct giant shark and jaw fragments of a small horse that lived in the same area millions of years ago.

The discoveries were announced Friday.

People look at a part of a jawbone thought to belong to an extinct type of horse called 'Anchitherium clarencei' found by paleontologists during a project to recover fossils during the Panama Canal expansion, is displayed after a news conference in Panama City, Friday, April 26, 2013. A group of scientists and paleontologists have completed a project with the Panama Canal Authority to recover fossils of at least ten new species of animals that inhabited the earth millions of years ago. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)
Fossilized bones of a 'Dioplotherium' an extinct type of marine mammal found by paleontologists during a project to recover fossils during the Panama Canal expansion, is displayed after a news conference in Panama City, Friday, April 26, 2013. A group of scientists and paleontologists have completed a project with the Panama Canal Authority to recover fossils of at least ten new species of animals that inhabited the earth millions of years ago. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)
A fossilized tree leaf found by paleontologists during a project to recover fossils during the Panama Canal expansion, is displayed after a news conference in Panama City, Friday, April 26, 2013. A group of scientists and paleontologists have completed a project with the Panama Canal Authority to recover fossils of at least ten new species of animals that inhabited the earth millions of years ago. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)
A seashell found by paleontologists during a project to recover fossils during the Panama Canal expansion, is displayed after a news conference in Panama City, Friday, April 26, 2013. A group of scientists and paleontologists have completed a project with the Panama Canal Authority to recover fossils of at least ten new species of animals that inhabited the earth millions of years ago that were found during the expansion of the Panama Canal. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)
A tooth of an extinct giant shark called 'Carcharodon megalodon' found by paleontologists during a project to recover fossils during the Panama Canal expansion, is displayed after a news conference in Panama City, Friday, April 26, 2013. A group of scientists and paleontologists have completed a project with the Panama Canal Authority to recover fossils of at least ten new species of animals that inhabited the earth millions of years ago. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)

Explore further: Smithsonian identifies invasive crab species in Panama Canal expansion area

0 shares

Related Stories

Extinct giant shark nursery discovered in Panama

May 17, 2010

The six-foot-long babies of the world's biggest shark species, Carcharocles megalodon, frolicked in the warm shallow waters of an ancient shark nursery in what is now Panama, report paleontologists working at the Smithsonian ...

Alligator relatives slipped across ancient seaways

March 4, 2013

The uplift of the Isthmus of Panama 2.6 million years ago formed a land-bridge that has long thought to be the crucial step in the interchange of animals between the Americas, including armadillos and giant sloths moving ...

Recommended for you

Just how good (or bad) is the fossil record of dinosaurs?

August 28, 2015

Everyone is excited by discoveries of new dinosaurs – or indeed any new fossil species. But a key question for palaeontologists is 'just how good is the fossil record?' Do we know fifty per cent of the species of dinosaurs ...

Fractals patterns in a drummer's music

August 28, 2015

Fractal patterns are profoundly human – at least in music. This is one of the findings of a team headed by researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization in Göttingen and Harvard University ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.