The oldest footprints of mammals left on the border between land and sea, scientists describe in "Scientific Reports". They were left by bear-sized animals, living 58 million years ago, that foraging along the coast.
Fossil tracks are the earliest evidence of mammals on the coast. They were left behind by prehistoric mammals the size of a bear. The find comes from the Hanna Rock Formation in Wyoming (USA). It was discovered by scientists from the University of Utah and Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute.
Today the state of Wyoming is hundreds of kilometers off the coast of the ocean, but about 58 million years ago, the area was covered with a shallow sea with lots of lagoons. These lagoons were fed by large hippo-like mammals.
The tracks are approximately one kilometer long and have been left by individuals of two species.
The age of the traces helped scientists determine microscopic plant particles and pollen. Before this discovery, the earliest known evidence of interaction of terrestrial mammals with the marine environment was about 49 million years old.
More on this topic: https://attheu.utah.edu/uncategorized/mammal-tracks / (PAP)