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An Incredible Fossil Just Changed What We Know About The Split of Pangaea (Video)

(Keck School of Medicine of USC/Jorge A. Gonzalez)

A nearly 130-million year-old fossilized skull found in Utah is evidence that the supercontinent pangea may have split long after scientists previously thought. Veuer’s Sam Berman has the full story.

A 130-million-year-old fossil has revealed that the ancient super-continent Pangaea may have broken apart more slowly than scientists previously thought.

The fossilised skull, which was found in eastern Utah, has revealed an entirely new group of reptile-like mammals that existed in North America.

“Based on the unlikely discovery of this near-complete fossil cranium, we now recognize a new, cosmopolitan group of early mammal relatives,” said lead author Adam Huttenlocker from the University of Southern California.

The newly-found species has been named Cifelliodon wahkarmoosuch in honour of the famed palaeontologist Richard Cifelli and the local Ute tribe’s word for “yellow cat”.

Using high-resolution computed tomography (CT) scanners, the researchers estimated that the creature weighed up to 2.5 pounds (1.1 kg) and was probably the size of a small hare – a giant among its contemporaries at the time

ScienceAlert, excerpt posted on SouthFloridaReporter.com, May 31, 2018

Video by Veuer/Sam Berman