Scientists are wondering how the remains of 75 whales killed 2 million years ago, were in the Chilean desert

November 27, 2011 4:26

75 whale skeletons vchiliyskoy Atacama DesertIn Chile's Atacama Desert, local scientists along with colleagues from the Smithsonian Institute undertook a study of skeletons found here 75 whales killed about 7.2 million years ago. All of them were there, just a few meters from each other. Despite the fact that the remains were discovered in June last year, but still can not figure out how they were here.

In Chile's Atacama Desert, local scientists along with colleagues from the Smithsonian Institute undertook a study of skeletons found here 75 whales killed about 7.2 million years ago. All of them were there, just a few meters from each other. Despite the fact that the remains were discovered in June last year, but still can not figure out how they were here.

Bones found workers who are lining the highway. "I think that all of them were killed at the same time — as if they were long ago washed ashore and died. True, reliable data we still do not have "- told Nicolas Penson, curator of fossil marine mammals at the National Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution.

Remains very well preserved, and the area occupied by about two football fields. Previously, scientists have been able to find the bones of large marine mammals in Egypt and Peru, but the discovery in Chile — by far the most interest. Of the 75 whales in 20 practically not affected skeleton. However, the number of full carcasses can be much more — yet all the surrounding areas surveyed.

However, apart from the remains of whales, archaeologists discovered the remains of extinct aquatic and marine birds, whose wingspan greater than 5 meters.

"Generally, it is a very unusual situation, we believe that the animals died here for some relatively long period of time," — said Erich Fitzgerald, a vertebrate specialist from the Museum of Victoria in Melbourne.

However, according to another scientist — a specialist in ancient Hans Teuissona whales, whales specifically thrown away, most likely, they gathered in the lagoon, but a major earthquake or a violent storm has led to the fact that water is literally evaporated and the animals were on the bottom shallowed. "We are seeing signs of the evaporation of ocean water. This only confirms our version, "- said the scientist.

Funded by the National Geographic Society, the Smithsonian team is using sophisticated photography and laser scanners to capture 3D-images of whales, which can then be used to make life-size models.

The Government of Chile has declared the area where they found the remains of protected areas, and intends to provide scientists to conduct further excavations.

Note the Atacama Desert is the driest desert. Atacama in South America in the north of Chile, and is bordered to the west by the Pacific Ocean, in the north — with Peru and to the east — with Bolivia and Argentina. In some places of the desert rain falls every few decades. Average rainfall in the Chilean region of Antofagasta is 1 mm. Some weather stations in the Atacama have never recorded rain. There is some evidence that significant rainfall in the Atacama was from 1570 to 1971. In this desert registered the lowest humidity: 0%.

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