Fossil of a nine million-year-old giraffe discovered in Madrid

The free bus from Benitatxell to Cala del Moraig is back Image: Benitaxell Council

PALEONTOLOGISTS working at a dig near to Madrid have discovered an almost complete fossil of what is a European ancestor of the giraffe.

Believed to have lived about nine million years ago, this and three other less complete fossils are part of the Decennatherium rex species which stood about three metres tall.

The discovery is important as it adds considerably to scientific knowledge of the evolution of the giraffe and as fossils of both male and females were found, there is also an opportunity to learn more about this extinct European species.

Although most people consider that the length of the neck is the most distinguishable feature of the giraffe, the bones on the head are equally important and in the case of this new fossil it could be seen that there are two pairs of ‘horns’ rather than the one pair appearing on the modern giraffe.

The discovery which was revealed in the scientific journal PLOS One was made by a team led by Dr Maria Rios and her team from the Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales-CSIC in Madrid.

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John Smith

Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica. Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene. Share your story with us by emailing [email protected], by calling +34 951 38 61 61 or by messaging our Facebook page


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