Lonely Planet Writer

Scientists discover ancient dolphin fossil in Panama

Scientists from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute have discovered the fossils of a newly discovered species of ancient “river” dolphin, a mammal estimated to have lived between 5.8 and 6.1 million years ago that grew to lengths of more than nine feet.

Headquarters of the Smithsonian tropical Research Institute, Panama.
Headquarters of the Smithsonian tropical Research Institute, Panama. Image by Zach Welty / CC BY-SA 2.0

The fossils were located along the Caribbean coast near the town of Piña, Panama, and consist of half of a skull, a lower jaw, an almost-complete set of teeth, a right shoulder blade, and two bones from the dolphin’s flipper. The discovery has allowed scientists to reach new conclusions in their studies of how and when the river dolphin made the transition from salt to fresh water. The dolphin species has been dubbed Isthminia panamensis in honor of the many Panamanian scientists dedicated to the fields of biology and geology.

Read more in English: newsdesk.si.edu

Read more in Spanish: laestrella.com.pa