New Species of Dolphin Discovered Off the Coast of Ecuadoradmin
The fossil is believed to be between 24 and 26 million years old.
In an interview with PLOS, study lead author Yoshihiro Tanaka explained: “Urkudelphis chawpipacha differs in that it has widely exposed features known as frontals at the vertex in the top of the skull and a strongly pointed feature on one of the ear bones. The bone, termed the periotic, is often unique for a given species.”
Due to where the fossil was found, the researchers believe “this discovery could help improve our understanding of the emeregence of the Isthmus of Panama,” IFLScience.com reported. Especially since “its emergence ‘had a major impact on oceanic and atmospheric currents, and ultimately global climate and diversity,’ explained Tanaka.”
Read more about this discovery here.