According to a recent study, a low-lying landmass that flourished 40 million years ago, which was also rich in diverse fauna; could have paved the way for Asian animals to reach southern Europe.
The Forgotten Continent – Balkanatolia
Wedged between Europe, Africa and Asia, this vanished peninsula, called Balkanatolia by experts, established a bridge connecting Asia and Europe around 34 million years ago, when the level of the oceans dropped and a network of roads emerged, according to Scientific alert.
In the latest research published by paleogeologist Alexis Licht and his associates, experts have confirmed that how and when the first wave of Asian animals arrived in southeastern Europe remains unknown.
However, the end product is nothing short of spectacular. As new Asian animals developed, in what is today considered the Big Break At the near end of the Eocene period, about 34 million years ago, thousands of native creatures disappeared from Western Europe.
Later fossil discoveries in the Balkans derailed that timeline, however, hinting at an unusual bioregion that appears to have allowed Asian animals to invade southeastern Europe 5 to 10 million years before the Great Cut.
The reexamination of the justification of all recognized fossil installations in the region, which includes the modern Balkan archipelago as well as Anatolia, the westernmost protrusion of Asia, was carried out by the French National Center of scientific investigation, Licht and his peers to examine. Given the existing archaeological evidence, the date of these settlements has been changed and researchers have recreated the paleogeographic alterations that occurred in the territory, which has a historical background of intermittent flooding and re-emergence.
What they discovered implies that Balkanatolia served as a staging post for living creatures migrating from Asia to Western Europe, with the conversion of the autonomous peninsula’s antiquated landmass to directly bring and colonization with Asian animal species. , along with significant paleogeographic changes.
Examination found that more than 50 million years ago, Balkanatolia was a disconnected island nation, detached from the surrounding landmasses, where a wide range of living creatures distinct from those of Europe and East Asia flourished. .
Eventually, around 40 and 34 million years ago, a mixture of declining coastal erosion, expanding Antarctic ice glaciers and geological movements joined the landmass of the Balkanatolia in western Europe.
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Discovery of the lost continent 40 million years ago
According to evolutionary history, this allowed Asian animals like mice and four-legged hoofed species called ungulates to move west and occupy the Balkans. Licht and his associates added to this milestone by discovering parts of the mandible of a rhinoceros-like animal in a new archaeological deposit in Turkey, which they calibrated 38 to 35 million years ago.
In an article under Daily mailthe specimen is possibly the earliest Asian-like ungulate found in Anatolia to be exhibited, predating the Great Cut by at least 1.5 million years, implying that Asian animals were already on their way to Europe through the Balkans.
According to Licht et al, this southern route to Europe through the Balkans may have been more attractive to bold species than the relatively high routes over Central Asia, which at the time were harsher and colder arid plains.
Even so, the experts note in their publication that the earlier convergence between the independent Balkanatolian archipelagos and the occurrence of this southern translocation route are still debated. Moreover, the narrative is so far only built on mammalian relics, and a more detailed insight into past Balkatolian fauna remains to be gleaned.
Many of the natural formations that led directly to Balkanatolia are still unknown, and it is crucial to remember that this assessment is based on one group’s assessment of archaeological evidence.
However, the geological evidence of mammals and other animals living in the archipelagos is generally limited and patchy. The study points out that the abundant continental genetic evidence of Balkanatolia offers great potential to chronicle the development and extinction of the archipelago’s biota in geological history.
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