A 16 million-year-old dolphin skull was discovered in Peru

Scientists from the University of Zurich have discovered a fossilized skull of a giant dolphin that lived 16 million years ago. The remains of the animal were found during an expedition in a river region in the Peruvian Amazon, reports The Guardian.

The lead author of the study, Aldo Benitez-Palomino, said that the discovered animal belongs to the Pebanista yacuruna family, which lived 24-16 million years ago. According to him, the length of the animal's body reached 3.5 meters.

The scientist noted that he discovered the fossil back in 2018, but his research was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It is noted that the discovered animal belongs to the close relatives of the modern Ghanaian dolphins from the rivers of South Asia, and not to the Amazonian dolphins, which today inhabit the freshwater reservoirs of South America.

Benitez-Palomino notes that this species of river dolphin has left the oceans in search of new food sources in freshwater rivers.

The study was published in the journal Science Advances./BGNES