“Discovery of Extinct ‘Gumfuther’ Elephant Ancestors Cemetery Unearthed in Florida”

2023-05-29 10:33:13

Paleontologists have discovered a cemetery of extinct “ancestors of elephants” known as “Gumfuther”, dating back about 5 million years, in the US state of Florida.

The Florida Museum of Natural History’s Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology Jonathan Bloch and his team first found the remains of ancient elephants early last year at the Moonbrook Fossil Dig site in Levy County, according to blog posts posted by the museum.

As the researchers, from the same museum, continued digging, they unearthed what may be some of the most complete gummother fossil skeletons ever found in North America, which Bloch described as a “discovery of a lifetime,” he told the Pensacola News. Journal”.

The gummother are an extinct group of large, trunked animals, now related to elephants, that are thought to have gone extinct about 5 million years ago.

“It wasn’t long before scientists discovered that what they found there were not just remains, but many complete skeletons,” the newspaper reported.

“I started finding bone after bone from the toes and the ankle, and as I kept digging I came across the ulna,” retired chemist Dean Warner told the Pensacola News Journal. “We all knew we had discovered something special.”

The museum’s blog stated that the skeleton was about two and a half meters long.

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“Modern elephants travel in herds and can be very anxious to protect their young, but I don’t think this was a situation where they all died at once,” said Rachel Narducci, director of vertebrate paleontology at the Florida Museum. one”.

And she continued, “It appears that members of one herd or several herds may have been stuck in this spot at different times.”

The gummother was widespread throughout North America during the Miocene and Pliocene era, and then lived in South America during the Pleistocene era, in forests, grasslands and swamps.

These animals share many traits with modern elephants, including trunk and tusks.

It is likely that the mammoth, who lived hundreds of thousands of years ago, was a direct descendant of the “Gummother”.

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