Fossil Fund: researchers discover ancient monkey bones in the North Sea

More than 100,000 years ago, monkeys lived where the North Sea is today. Their bones have now been discovered during construction - as fossils of other animals have been.

Actually, the port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands should only get a little bigger. But during the construction and landfill of an island discovered amazing - because at the site fossils of macaques were found in the North Sea. As reported by the Senckenberg Society for Natural Science (SGN), the most recent of the fossils, a mandibular fragment, is between 115,000 and 126,000 years old. It is the first find of this kind.

In addition, the team, which consisted of the Weimar researcher Ralf-Dietrich Kahlke and two Dutch colleagues, could examine several teeth that are even older.

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The North Sea soil is considered one of the most important sites for the reconstruction of life in glacial Europe, as the company further reported. There were already found remnants of fur rhinos, Breitstirnelchen, cave lions and forest elephants. The amount of mammoth molars alone, according to SGN, is at least 50,000 pieces.

The monkey bones and teeth came from different warm periods within the ice age. They belonged to animals, which were very similar to the berber monkeys living still today on the rock of Gibraltar and could be assigned to the primate species Macaca sylvanus. "Only with the melting of the glacial glaciers was the space of today's North Sea flooded," says Kahlke. Therefore, you can find the fossils found today on the seabed.

The numerous discoveries of skeletal remains of glacial land mammals would prove that large parts of the North Sea were several times part of the European mainland, said Kahlke, who heads the Research Station for Quaternary Paleontology of the Senckenberg Society in Weimar. Now, the long list of evidence of various mammal species can be extended by a Makakenart.