Turkish scientists have discovered 33-million-year-old animal footprints which could have been preserved in time by a prehistoric relative of the horse.
Fossils containing animal footprints from between 23 and 33 million years ago were discovered in the Turkish province of Sivas in the Central Anatolia Region, according to Associate Professor Levent Mesci from Sivas Cumhuriyet University.
Experts said that the animal footprints, imprinted in the ground millions of years ago, were probably left by a member of the double-hoofed horse family.
The prints were left by animals around a stream and ended up being fossilised as the ground was slowly covered with sediment to preserve the imprint.
Professor Mesci said: “Although the footprints are not very clear, you can tell that one is smaller than the other. Likely left by a member of the bi-angulate horse familia.”
The associate professor added that the prints are the first of their kind to be unearthed in the country as no previous discoveries were traced back to the double-hoofed horse family.
Professor Mesci said: “The findings are significant in understanding the wider ecosystem that existed on the land that is now Turkey.”
The research is ongoing.
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