Sunday, 20 January 2013

Manatee's Missing Link Found in Africa


A fossil found in 2008 may be the missing link — for manatees, that is.

Modern manatees and their lookalike relatives, the dugongs, are close relatives of elephants, yet no trace of their ancestry had ever been found in Africa, where elephants evolved.  

Then a small piece of skull was found unexpectedly in Tunisia. The fossil, which scientists have been able to identify as from an extinct sea cow, re-roots the origin of manatees in Africa, said study researcher Julian Benoit of the University of Science and Technology in Montpellier, France.

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