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 paleontologist Bruce MacFadden says in a statement the discovery will help to better understand the biodiversity and geological formation 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.
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.
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Scientists find ancient fossils in Panama (2013, April 27)
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