New fossil species found in Mozambique reveals new data on ancient mammal relatives

6

In the remote province of Niassa, Mozambique, a new species and genus of fossil vertebrate was found. The species is a distant relative of living mammals and is approximately 256 million years old. This new species belongs to a group of animals called synapsids. Synapsida includes a number of extinct lineages that dominated the communities on land in the Late Permian (260-252 million years ago), as well as living mammals and their direct ancestors.

A team of paleontologists from nine institutions, including Kenneth Angielczyk, associate curator of paleomammology at Chicago's Field Museum, described the anatomy ofNiassodon in the scientific journal PLoS ONE. The fossil was named Niassodonm fumukasi, which means in the local language (Chiyao): the queen of Lake Niassa. The name is a tribute to the Yao matriarchal society, to the women of Mozambique and to the beauty of Lake Niassa.

The research was conducted under the auspices of Projecto PalNiassa, an international, multidisciplinary scientific collaboration that includes more than two dozen scientists from three different continents. The goal of the project is to find, study, and preserve the paleontological heritage of Mozambique.

Niassodon mfumukasi is the first new genus (and species) of a fossil vertebrate from Mozambique, and its holotype (name-bearing specimen) is a rare example of a basal synapsid that preserves the skull and much of the skeleton together.

Written By: Science Daily
continue to source article at sciencedaily.com

6 COMMENTS

  1. Science gods say one thing, spiritual gods say another thing. None of us the wiser. If belief is required its not worth it (unless its in what we feel). 256million years old just can’t be fathomed without a lot of faith.

    • In reply to #3 by SGde3a:

      Science gods say one thing, spiritual gods say another thing. None of us the wiser. If belief is required its not worth it (unless its in what we feel). 256million years old just can’t be fathomed without a lot of faith.

      The age is calculated by means of radioactive clocks, the elements which comprise the periodic table, and which of the Earth’s strata the fossil was found in, and as with all science, the results can be verified or falsified; faith has nothing what so ever to do with it.

      If the results are eventually discovered to be wrong then the scientists will change their minds in accordance with the new evidence; that is how and why science always progresses.

      Nothing about this is contained in any Holy book, but there are innumerable other volumes which explain the techniques employed; I suggest you read one. They really are quite interesting!

  2. I really, really appreciate when science articles use a device to illustrate scale. So often it is hard to distinguish when looking at an image whether you are being shown something tiny or huge. Thanks for the “helping hand.”

Leave a Reply