September 6, 2014,
Panama City (AFP) – Panama Canal expansion work has uncovered an unexpected trove of archeological and paleontological treasures, scientists said, as the massive construction project winds down.
Experts hired by the Panama Canal Authority have identified remains of camels, crocodiles, the teeth of a giant shark, as well as bones of other animals millions of years old.
But the most surprising discovery, researchers said, was about the age of the very land beneath Panama, the southern end of the narrow isthmus that connects North and South America.
Evidence uncovered during the canal excavation showed that the land started forming 20 million years ago and finished around 10 million years later.
“What we learned at school was that it formed three million years ago,” said paleontology specialist Hortensia Broce of the Panama Canal Authority.
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