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Thursday, October 22, 2015

The 48 million year old pregnant fossil was found in Germany

Scientists have discovered the 48 million-year-old fossils of a species Eurohippus messelensis at Pite Messel site near Frankfurt, Germany, in 2000. The fossils of ancient horse-like creature was found pregnant. As quoted of Science.Mic, the ancient horse is believed to have died before she gave birth.

The researchers said the fossilized fetus becomes most excellent fossil specimen of its kind. The fetus is about the size of a fox. Almost all existing bones and connected to each other, except for the skull which appeared to have been destroyed. After reconstructing the original appearance and position of the fetus, researchers believe that the horse's death had nothing to do with her pregnancy.
A skeleton of a Eurohippus messelensis mare from Messel, Germany is shown with its fetus (white ellipse), tells researchers how early horses carried their foals. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/1LYJXqO)
Jens Lorenz Franzen, one of the study authors and experts in paleontology from the Senckenberg Museum in Frankfurt, said, "The horse is probably running too close to the crater of the volcano where the level of concentration of carbon dioxide is so high."

"She may come to drink in the Messel lake that exists in the horse's life, but she lost consciousness and then fell into the water and float to the fossil was found," he added.

The fossil was examined using high resolution micro-x-ray and scanning electronic microscope for research. Scientists say the level of preservation of soft tissues including the internal organs and intestinal contents in the fossil specimen is extraordinary.

The researchers stated that the soft tissue found is uteroplacenta network and a broad uterine ligament. This may be the earliest fossil record of uterus system of placental mammals.

Therefore, the researchers concluded that the reproductive system of the horse is already highly developed in the early time of Paleocene Era, and continues to grow rapidly. The research on Eurohippus messelensis fossils were found was carrying a fetus that has been published in the scientific journal PLoS One. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | SCIENCE.MIC]
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