In Chile found a time capsule with the remains of extinct animals

(ORDO NEWS) — In Chile, paleontologists, while examining a prehistoric site in the Gulf of Quintero, discovered a real “time capsule” – a prehistoric swamp, the waters of which preserved thousands of remains of extinct animals.

It was taken on the central Chilean coast during excavations at a prehistoric site designated GNL Quintero 1 (GNLQ1). The researchers were lucky, as they found a real “time capsule”.

We are talking about a giant prehistoric swamp formed during the last ice age (about 24 to 17 thousand years ago).

At that time, the current sea area of ​​the Gulf of Quintero was a large esplanade of wetlands, extending several kilometers from the modern coastline.

The swampy area was not only home to many species of animals, but also became their huge grave. The special properties of soil and water made it possible to conserve the remains of those creatures.

As a result, skeletons of representatives of various species of extinct fauna fell into the hands of scientists, in particular paleolams, mylodons, American horses and deer, some species of rodents, foxes and nutria.

In total, a joint group of archaeologists and paleontologists discovered more than 7,000 skeletal remains.

To date, eight species have been accurately identified, which are considered representatives of a large extinct fauna. More than a dozen individuals of small fauna are still in line.

“The high taxonomic diversity is particularly striking as the group consists of more than fifteen species,” says Professor Isabel Cartagena, a researcher at the University of Chile. small marsupials and even the remains of reptiles.”

Scientists note that the site they excavated is the only known flooded site of the end of the Pleistocene on the Pacific coast of South America.

They suggest that the melting of the glaciers happened very quickly. With their melting, the rapid rise in sea levels flooded the esplanade, and the prehistoric swamp, in fact, turned into the seabed.

It is worth adding that for complex underwater field work, the researchers even used a special vacuum cleaner, with which prehistoric deposits were cleaned.

And the excavations themselves were carried out in layers. It is also interesting that earlier no traces of the presence of early human groups were found at the GNLQ1 site.

However, a new study, according to Isabel Cartagena, showed: “this site demonstrates the existence of a landscape available for the settlement and mobility of extinct fauna and early human groups along the Pacific coast of South America.”


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