Recently uncommon dolphin species paddled the oceans 20 million years ago, containing in waters that covered Switzerland, today a landlocked country at the heart of Europe, experimenters announced on Tuesday.
Since then, Switzerland was part of an island terrain, with its low-lying portions covered in ocean, teaming up with fish, sharks, dolphins, and mussels and sea urchins lining the seabed.
Subsequently analyzing 300 fossils of whales and dolphins found in Switzerland and dating from this duration, experimenters from Zurich University’s paleontological institute discovered two formerly known species, the university announced in a statement.
“We managed to identify two families of dolphins previously unknown in Switzerland,” paleontologist Gabriel Aguirre explained.
Using micro-computed tomography, a 3-dimensional imaging method, the experimenters were competent in reconstructing the softer organs around the hard ear bones and establishing 3D prototypes for the ears.
“This helped us better analyze the dolphins’ hearing ability,” Aguirre announced. In the survey, publicized on the PeerJ scientific publishing website, the experimenters specified that the extinct animals are related to the sperm whales and ocean dolphins dwelling today.
This captions the second exposure of a paleontological finding of marine animals in Switzerland.
The previous month, Reuters documented that scientists declared openly the discovery of whale-sized marine reptiles named ichthyosaurs on top of three peaks in the Swiss Alps.