Skip to main content
  1. News
  2. Science & Space

Oldest African mammal discovered in Morocco

See also

A new species of placental mammal that is the oldest ever found in Africa was reported by Emmanuel Gheerbrant, Florent Goussard, and Charlène Letenneur from the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris, France and Mbarek Amaghzaz, and Baadi Bouya from the Centre Minier de Khouribga, in Khouribga, Morocco in the Feb. 26, 2014, edition of the journal Public Library of Science.

More Photos

Ocepeia daouiensis is the most complete Cenozoic mammal fossil found in Africa to date. The researchers also found a new species that consisted of fragmentary skull bones called Ocepeia grandis. The fossils were discovered in the phosphate sediments of the Ouled Abdoun Basin in Morocco.

The most complete skull measured 3.5 inches long and 2.5 inches wide. The researchers estimate the head to have been 33 percent of the animal’s complete length based on comparison to similar mammals from the same time frame.

CT scans and x-ray analysis of the skull and teeth indicated that this is the most complete and oldest known placental mammal ever found in Africa. Similar analysis of the fragmentary Ocepeia grandis defined the fossil as a unique species.

The importance of finding ancient placental mammals in Africa is that theses small creatures are related to and may be evolutionary ancestors of hyraxes, sea cows, elephants and other African mammals.

Advertisement

News

  •  Day 17
    Israel continues their ravaging bombardment on Gaza as the conflict wages on
    Video
    Video
  • MH17 victims arrive home
    40 bodies of the MH17 plane crash return to a somber homecoming in Holland
    Top News
  • Military advisers to Ukraine
    President Obama announces the deployment of military advisers to Ukraine
    Politics
  • Bubonic plague in China
    A bubonic plague outbreak in Yumen prompts China to quarantine the city
    World News
  • Air Algierie disappearance
    A flight headed from Burkina Faso to Algeria disappears from radar over Mali
    Headlines
  • Windows Phone training portal
    Microsoft launches Windows Phone training portal in attempt to woo consumers
    Tech

Related Videos:

  • Buzz Aldrin and the American flag on the moon
    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/O4KxesvbiMU?VQ=HD720&amp;allowfullscreen=true&amp;autoplay=1"></iframe>
  • Orbital Sciences rocket brings supplies and experiments to space station
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518318477" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=518318477&autoStart=true"></div>
  • Liftoff Apollo 11
    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/zGNryrsT7OI?VQ=HD720&amp;allowfullscreen=true&amp;autoplay=1"></iframe>