If Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “Lost World” didn’t stir up images of magical beauty filled with exotic animals gracing the landscape, a new scientific discovery in Venezuela certainly will.
1.8 million year old fossils, including skulls and jawbones of six scimitar-toothed cats (part of the saber-toothed cat family), were unearthed by Venezuelan oil workers laying a pipeline in the eastern state of Monagas two years ago. They were not identified as such until last year, however, when scientists were brought in to assess the findings.
Venezuelan paleontologists announced the discovery this month, proving that the cat did indeed inhabit South America. The discovery may also provide insight into the type of environment that existed after North and South America became connected after a 65 million year separation, scientists say.
“The deposit could be one of the most important in South America in the last 60 years,” lead researcher Rincon told The Associated Press. Read the full AP story here.