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The Fauna of the Petrified Forest


Excavations carried out by the Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest in 1999 in the Gavathas, Antissa region brought to light the bones of the first fossilized animal ever found in the area of the Petrified Forest. The find belong to the dinotherium, a large trunked ancestor of today’s elephant. The excavations revealed a large complete jawbone with teeth and other bones of the animal.

The study of the palaeoenvironment of the area indicates that this animal lived on the edges of a lake that once existed there 25 million years ago and it fed on the rich vegetation of the area. When the dinotherium died, its skeleton ended up in the lake where it was covered by lake sediments resulting in its fossilization. These fossils constitute a rare find since there have been very few finds of large vertebrates from the Lower Miocene age, not only in Greece, but also in Europe

 Article about the Prodeinotherium bavaricum 2003

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