BEACON TRANSCRIPT – A team of archeologists has unearthed a couple of odd-looking fossils from a digging site in Rusinga Island, in Kenya. An extinct duck-nosed wildebeest was found in Africa, a creature so bizarre in shape that it managed to baffle the scientifical community.
The discovery was made by a team of paleontologists from the University of Ohio. The team was led by Haley O’Brian, a paleontologist who manage to offer some insight regarding the creature’s oddly-shaped nose.
According to O’Brian, even though the African wildebeest belong to the mammal family, it shared more physical traits with dinosaurs than it did with other mammals. The African wildebeest dubbed the Rusingoryx, exhibited a peculiar nasal structure.
The team noted that Rusingoryx’s nose consisted of a hollow bone-like nasal passage and protuberance, very similar to another species of duck-billed dinosaurs called the hadrosaurs.
The duck-like nose would enable the wildebeest’s distant cousin to communicate over long distances. According to the scientists working on the project, the bony structure of the duck-billed nose would have permitted the mammal to emit infrasound in order to communicate with other members of its pack.
An extinct duck-nosed wildebeest was found in Africa at a digging site located on Rusinga Island. The bygone mammal roamed the Earth approximately 55.000 to 75.000 years ago and it would seem that the gentle beast had more in common with hadrosaurs than the odd nasal structure. Hadrosaurs, like the Corythosaurus or the Lambeosaurus, roamed the Earth 75 million years ago.
Like the hadrosaurs, the rusyngoryx was a herbivore and usually traveled in large packs. As to the functionality of the duck-like nose, the scientists have theorized that the creature evolved this kind of nasal structure in order to communicate efficiently with its pack members. Moreover, in order to remain undiscovered, the wildebeests would have used sounds with different frequencies, ones that could not be heard by other predators.
No less than 24 wildebeest skulls were retrieved from the digging site. At a close inspection, the team found out that the bony structures found on the skull were hollow on the inside. The bone structure continued with a long nasal passage. At the end of it, the researchers discovered an S-shape tube, which continued down to the airways.
Moreover, by analyzing the earthly remains of the mammals, the researchers were capable of determining what caused their deaths. According to O’Brian, all the fossils found on Rusinga Island, showed signs of stone weapons, meaning that the pack was probably ambushed by a hunter-gatherer tribe.