Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fossil Teeth Of Three-toed Browsing Horse Found In Panama Canal Earthworks

Date:
June 17, 2009
Source:
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Summary:
Rushing to salvage fossils from the Panama Canal earthworks, a paleontology intern unearthed a set of fossil teeth. Experts identified the fossil as Anchitherium clarencei, a three-toed browsing horse.

This is an Anchitherium clarencei fossil found in the Panama Canal expansion earthworks and identified at the University of Florida.
Credit: Aldo Rincon

Rushing to salvage fossils from the Panama Canal earthworks, Aldo Rincon, paleontology intern at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, unearthed a set of fossil teeth. Bruce J. MacFadden, curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida in Gainesville, describes the fossil as Anchitherium clarencei, a three-toed browsing horse, in the May 2009 issue of the Journal of Paleontology.

Related Articles


By far the most complete fossil of a horse collected at the site in excavations spanning the last century, characteristics such as the shape of the teeth confirm the identity of two earlier finds and indicate that this horse was primarily a forest-dwelling browser living in the area between 15 and 18 million years ago. This evidence supports MacFadden's earlier proposal that the habitat was probably a mosaic of relatively dense forest and open woodlands. The presence of this browsing horse in Panama significantly extends the southern tip of its range from previous finds from roughly the same period in Florida, Nebraska and South Dakota.

Expanding the Panama Canal waterway to make way for supersized ships is a dream come true for geologists and paleontologists, according to Carlos Jaramillo, senior scientist at the institute, who, in collaboration with the University of Florida and the Panama Canal Authority, has organized a team of researchers and students who move in following dynamite blasts to map and collect exposed fossils.

"This is one of very few places in the tropics where we have access to fresh outcrops before they are washed away by torrential rains or overgrown by vegetation, and we expect the fossils that we have been salvaging to resolve some major scientific mysteries," said Jaramillo. "What geological forces combined to create the Panama land bridge? Was the flora and fauna in Panama before the land bridge closed similar to that in North America, or did it include other elements?"

So far, 10 million cubic meters of earth have been removed from the Canal, though the pace of operations is about to accelerate as the Canal Authority awards the final bids for the construction of a third set of locks.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. "Fossil Teeth Of Three-toed Browsing Horse Found In Panama Canal Earthworks." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 June 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090608125103.htm>.
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. (2009, June 17). Fossil Teeth Of Three-toed Browsing Horse Found In Panama Canal Earthworks. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 25, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090608125103.htm
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. "Fossil Teeth Of Three-toed Browsing Horse Found In Panama Canal Earthworks." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090608125103.htm (accessed January 25, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Fossils & Ruins News

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

India Clears Cows, Dogs, Dust for Obama Taj Mahal Trip

India Clears Cows, Dogs, Dust for Obama Taj Mahal Trip

AFP (Jan. 23, 2015) Preparations are under way at the Taj Mahal ahead of a visit by Barack and Michelle Obama. Duration: 01:11 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lincoln Collection to Be Auctioned in Dallas

Lincoln Collection to Be Auctioned in Dallas

AP (Jan. 23, 2015) Hundreds of pieces of Lincoln memorabilia collected by a Fort Worth, Texas businessman are set to be auctioned this weekend. (Jan. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Phones Used 100 Years Ago on Display

Phones Used 100 Years Ago on Display

AP (Jan. 22, 2015) The phones used to make the world&apos;s first coast-to-coast conference call 100 years ago have been put on display at the California Historical Society&apos;s 1915 World&apos;s Fair exhibit space in San Francisco. (Jan. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
King Tutankhamun Burial Mask Sloppily Glued Back Together After Cleaning Mishap

King Tutankhamun Burial Mask Sloppily Glued Back Together After Cleaning Mishap

Buzz60 (Jan. 22, 2015) King Tutankhamun Burial Mask is now being called &apos;irreversibly damaged&apos; after its famous beard broke off in a botched cleaning job and then was hastily glued back together. Jen Markham (@jenmarkham) has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins