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Sea Cow Fossil Of An Extinct Species Discovered In Palawan, Philippines

By on Jun 10, 2011 in Animals, Archaelogy, Asia, Science, World Comments

A team of Italian scientists discovered in a cave in the Philippines the bones of an extinct sea cow species that was estimated to have lived about 20 million years ago ,several news sites reported on Tuesday, June 7, 2011.

Sea Cow
A Sea Cow
Image Credit: Animal Planet

According to reports, the bones, which are composed of several spine parts and ribs of the animal, were discovered in limestone rock above an underground river in Palawan. The bones were found in February and March. Leonardo Piccini, University of Florence geologist said that the fossil is in the rock inside the cave.

“The fossil is in the rock, in the cave. We cannot remove it and we don’t want to extract it. We would like to wait (for) when the technology will allow us to study the fossil without extracting it,” Piccini was quoted saying.

According to research done by Federico Panti and Paolo Forti of the Palawan expedition, the fossil specimens seem to belong to one of two extinct species of plant-eating sirenia, also known as sea cows, after initial comparisons. They further added that the sea cow would have been about six feet long.

Piccini reportedly said that it was a rare discovery in the region from the Miocene era. “It’s the first remains of this kind of animal in the area, so it is important in reconstructing the habitat and the diffusions of this animal in the Miocene,” Piccini reportedly said.

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