Mysterious fossils in Dutch Oosterschelde estuary


This 1961 video is about finding fossil mammal bones with a fishing boat, from the bottom of the Oosterschelde estuary in Zeeland province in the Netherlands.

Astrid Kromhout of Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden reported on 7 September 2015 about two mysterious fossil bones, fished on 5 September 2015.

One of the bones used to belong to an aurochs, or, really, an aurochs ancestor; the other one to a mammoth.

Scratches on early Pleistocene aurochs ancestor bone

On both bones are parallel scratches. Hyena teeth or rodents’ gnawing don’t look being the causes of these scratches. Did a human ancestor cause them? But the mammoth bone is about 2.3 million year old; and the bovine bone is from the early Pleistocene as well. Then, all human ancestors still lived in Africa. The oldest traces of human ancestors in the Netherlands are 250.000 years old. So, mysterious indeed.

On 5 September, also other fossils were found, a molar and a bone of a 2,3 million year old mastodon.

Since 65 years ago, paleontologists go year after year aboard a fishing boat to use fishing nets to find fossils. During that time, 2174 fossils were found, mostly roughly 2 million years old.

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