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February 9, 2012
An international team of paleontologists found fossils in Antarctica of a whale that lived 49 million years.These are the oldest remains of a whale or arqueoceto primitive in the world and are first found in Antarctic territory.
The fossils were discovered during an expedition in the formation known as The Plateau, near the base on the island Marambio Argentina, near the Weddell Sea, northeast of the Antarctic Peninsula.
The discovery was made by Claudia Tambussi Argentine paleontologists and Marcelo Reguero, the Silver Museum, the National Council of Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET) and Argentine Antarctic Institute. Also participating in the Swedish research scientists Thomas Mors and Jonas Hagström, Natural History Museum in Stockholm.
The centerpiece is "a reconstructed jaw, about 60 centimeters, which lets you know that the origin of the lineage of this whale was further back than previously thought," said Tambussi.
The Antarctic arqueoceto Basilosauridae belongs to the group, which originated all cetaceans today.
In the Indo-Pakistan region were found fossils of primitive relatives of cetaceans date back 53 million years, but these whales amphibious, semiaquatic, Protocetidae with four legs.
The finding could indicate that archaeocetes evolved earlier than previously thought from its origins semiaquatic in what is now India and Pakistan.