Sunday, November 23, 2014

Scientists: Pig-sized animal found in India was common ancestor for horses, rhinos - Full Article

By Dan Taylor, Daily Digest News
November 23, 2014

Researchers believe the animal was isolated on India when it was an island in the middle of the ocean.

An international research team has found a common ancestor for the rhino and the horse.

The research team uncovered fossils in india that point to a common ancestor for perissodactyls, which are odd-toed ungulates that include rhinos, horses, and tapirs. Scientists have long known they were part of the same family, but the fossils represent the first time they have uncovered a common ancestor, according to NBC News.

It has been a gradual process: over the last 10 years or so, researchers have dug up more than 200 bones belonging to Cambaytherium thewissi in an open-pit coal mine northeast of Mumbai in Gujarat state.

With the help of these bones, researchers were able to get a better handle on Cambaytherium, and reported in the journal Nature Communications that the creature — which resembles a modern-day tapir — closely matches early perissodactyls...

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