They Found Fossils 50 Thousand Years Old in Corrientes

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Researchers of the Conicet and the National University of the Northeast found in the Toropí reserve of the province of Corrientes paleontological remains of between 30,000 and 50,000 thousand years old, which correspond to three extinct species, one of which would be a carnivore.

“It is the third exhumation of carnivore remains in almost 40 years of study on this reserve, something that excites us much as well as the state of conservation, which is very good,” said paleontologist Alfredo Zurita, in charge of the team. of researchers who came up with the fossils.

These are pieces corresponding to three species, such as parts of the jaws of a mastodon and a giant sloth, as well as a tooth and parts of the jaw and skull of a feline boy.

The finding was made Saturday in the Toropí Stream reserve of the Corrientes town of Bella Vista and was in charge of researchers from the Center for Applied Ecology of the Litoral (Cecoal) of Conicet, as well as the National University of the Northeast.

As indicated by Zurita, the remains date from between 30,000 and 50,000 years, a period corresponding to the Late Pleistocene.

“The great variety of species found and the extraordinary frequency with which findings are produced in Toropí size it as one of the most important paleontological reserves at the continental level,” the specialist said.

“Hundreds of pieces have been found, mostly mammals and the range goes from small rodents between 200 and 300 grams in life, to huge mastodons that could reach six tons,” he said.

While the researchers stress the importance of having obtained the remains of a carnivore just for the third time in about 40 years of study.

“It is striking, especially because in any ecosystem it is uncommon to find carnivores,” the researcher said.

On the way of extinction of these species, in the scientific team of Corrientes assume that by the geological characteristics of the findings the main agent would have been water.

It is that Toropí was a plain of flood, that with the floods the course of water covered the rest of the dead animals, favoring that they are covered with sediments that at present are a guide to know with the greater certainty possible the registry of each piece, mainly its antiquity.

This work, which they estimate would take a year, will now be reflected in a doctoral thesis and a postdoctoral thesis developed by two researchers who on Friday and Saturday were part of the search team in Bella Vista, located 150 kilometers from the capital of Corrientes. on the banks of the Paraná River.