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science

New species of monk seal identified from fossils in New Zealand

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Fossils found in New Zealand have led to the discovery of a previously unidentified species of extinct monk seal, which biologists say is the biggest breakthrough in seal evolution in seven decades.

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The animal – named Eomonachus belegaerensis – was named after a sea in JRR Tolkien’s the Lord of the Rings, and has radically changed scientists’ understanding of how seal species have evolved around the world.

Eomonachus belegaerensis lived in the waters around New Zealand some three million years ago, and was 2.5 metres in length and weighed around 200-250kg.

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Source: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/nov/11/new-species-of-extinct-monk-seal-identified-from-fossils-in-new-zealandhttp://novataxa.blogspot.com/2020/11/eomonachus.html

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