Featured Image Credit: Dallas Zoo.
By: Sarah Sharkey
16 million years ago there was apparently a hippo-like creature that roamed the sea near Japan.
Scientists discovered the animal after having the bone collect dust for over 50 years in a
The original thigh bone was collected in Tsuchiyu Onsen, Fukushima in the 1950s. The bone
even had muscle scars that are important for scientists to determine what the animal
Dr. Kumiko Matsui with the National Museum of Nature and Science was able to track down
the original site of the fossil due to a handwritten note by the original collector. The team dated
crystal rocks to estimate that the animal lived approximately 15.8 million years ago.
After careful observation, the team determined that the animal was over 7 feet long and it
inhabited the Pacific coast from Japan to Mexico in the Miocene.
The bones were not looked at until now because the original museum they were housed in
burned down in a fire. Somehow these bones survived the fire and eventually found a new
museum to call home. However, it was unclear what the bones were original so the scientists
filed it away for further study later.
Great discovery by the team in Japan! Who knows how many other “new” ancient species are
hiding in museum drawers.
Learn more from the source.