Turkish scientists find 33-million-year-old animal footprints in Central Anatolia

Turkish scientists have uncovered animal footprints imprinted in the ground as far back as 22-33 million years ago. The footprints likely belong to a member of the double-hoofed horse family, an expert said. The imprints are said to be unique in that no remains have been so far found from this family of animals in Turkey.

Duvar English

Fossils that contain animal footprints from 23 to 33 million years ago were discovered in the Anatolian province of Sivas, said Assoc. Prof. Levent Mesci from Sivas Cumhuriyet University.

The footprints were left by animals around a stream, and became fossilized as the ground was imprinted, and then covered up with sediment that preserved the imprint.

"Although the footprints aren't very explicit, you can tell that one is smaller than the other. Likely left by a member of the bi-angulate horse familia, like deer or antelopes," Mesci said.

The expert noted that the footprints were the first of their kind in Turkey in that no other prints were traced back to the double-hoofed family of horses.

The findings are significant in understanding the wider ecosystem that existed on the land that is now Turkey, Mesci added.

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