Paleontologists have found the remains of saber-toothed tehnologo – giraffe
Scientists in Spain have found the remains of an exotic relative of giraffes, who had three horns, similar in shape to the hairdo Queen Amidala from “Star Wars” George Lucas, its sable-like “fangs” and a number of other unusual traits, according to a paper published in the journal PLoS One.
Saber-toothed giraffe found in Spain “the Opening of this creature allowed us to clarify the history of the evolution of the large and almost completely extinct groups of horned ruminants, the only surviving members of which today are giraffes and okapis are relatives. It revealed the amazing diversity of these creatures that lived on the territory of Eurasia and Africa,” said Israel Sanchez (Israel Sanchez) from the National Museum of natural history in Madrid (Spain).
Sanchez and his colleagues made this discovery, trying to classify and identify generic groups and membership of several bizarre mammals, whose remains were found by the authors in the vicinity of the town of Loranca del Campo in the rocks, which were formed in the late Miocene, about 11-5 million years ago.
Here, the scientists managed to find the skull and vertebrae of an unusual herbivorous creatures, which belonged to the hoofed mammals. It had a very quirky traits, three horns – two appendages above the eyes and the T-shaped appendage on the top of the head, and its sable-like teeth.
Paleontologists named it Xenokeryxamidalae, which means that in a mixture of Latin and Greek “Stranieri alien Amidala” in honor of an unusual “alien” the appearance of this four-legged form and its Central horn, similar to the hairdo Queen Amidala from “Star Wars”.
In recent years, says Sanchez, was discovered a few other species such trichromic artiodactyls, which made his scientific team to think about which family they belong to ruminants. They tried to determine the position of “Amidala” and her relatives on the tree of evolution by comparing the anatomy of their skulls and other body parts with a device several tens of other extinct and living ruminants.
As it turned out, Xenokeryx amidalae was most similar in its anatomy on the giraffe and its closest relative, the Okapi. This allowed Sanchez and his colleagues to allocate all of them in a new put, named Giraffomorpha, which includes modern and extinct giraffee palaeomerycidae (Palaeomerycidae), which include “Amidala” and their extinct relatives.
The discovery of an unexpectedly large number of relatives of the giraffe, according to Sanchez, allowing us to significantly enrich our understanding of the evolution of these African animals and to improve the understanding of how these creatures whose homeland was made by forests in South Asia, spread to Africa and the New World.