Date researchers are being moved back by a whale fossil dated to 17 million years ago to consider a huge structural turn happened in Eastern Africa.
The elevation of Africa’s land and aridification which dried out the entire area were the results of this occurrence. These circumstances are conceived to have represented a significant function in the evolvement of human predecessor.
Nevertheless, analysis of this geographical occurrence have been challenging to write down, as the incipient altitude of the land, and the date when the turn started were both not clear.
In an area positioned 460 miles midland of Africa’s present seacoast, a beaked whale fossil from the Ziphiidae family was found, suggesting the species was agile to swim that long during the period the whale existed. Probably, the animal was swimming in a river when it suffered death, moderately evolved into a fossil. Most of the ground in east Africa were close sea level at the time the whale died, which resulted to damp environment that covered the forest areas.
A vertebrate paleontologist from Southern Methodist University, Louis L. Jacobs, said “As that part of the continent rose up, that caused the climate to become drier and drier. So over millions of years, forest gave way to grasslands. Primates evolved to adapt to grasslands and dry country. And that’s when — in human evolution — the primates started to walk upright.”
This Turkana ziphiid is understood to be the most precisely dated beaked whale fossil in the world. It is thought to be 17 million years old.
The primitive whale probably lived in the Indian Ocean and turned disoriented,moving in a northwest position up the Anza River. It may have been incapable to rotate in the waterway, swimming midland just before it died in fluvial dregs.
Due to the study of the land, this artifact gives a marker of sea level in the area when the creature existed. The fossil was found in 1964, was lost for decades, and was retrieved at Harvard University in 2011.
Ziphiids are known for diving deep beneath the water compared to other air-breathing creature. The species lives in the open sea, like their ancestors, as well as the world’s top sea hunters.
The uncovering of the whale fossil and the examination of how it could help in dating the elevation in eastern Africa was outlined in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS).