4 new species introduced to the world of science in Çankırı
Çankırı Çorakyerler Vertebrate Fossil Localite has been introduced to the world of science with the fossils of 4 species of about 9 million years old. Prof. Dr. Ayla Sevim Erol, Head of the Department of Anthropology at Ankara University, Faculty of Language, History and Geography, said, “We found fossil remains of 43 species in Çorakyerler. 6 of these are species unique to Çorakyerler, and 4 of them are currently published in international refereed scientific journals.” She made the statement.
The excavations, which have been ongoing for 22 years under the chairmanship of Prof. Dr. Ayla Sevim Erol, Head of the Department of Anthropology at Ankara University, Faculty of Language, History and Geography, have so far unearthed 4,169 fossils belonging to 43 species.
Among these fossils, a fossil belonging to a hedgehog-like creature called “Hystrix kayae”, whose scientific article was published in 2023 and was determined to live only in Çankırı, and a fossil belonging to a creature called “Qurliqnoria chorakensis”, named after the Çorakyerler excavation area and whose article was published in 2021, belonging to a creature larger than goats and smaller than deer, 4 new animal species were identified with the fossil of an antelope-like creature between deer and goat called “Gangraia anatolica”, named after the ancient name of Çankırı, whose article was published in 2022, and the fossil of a gorilla-like creature called “Anadoluvius turkae”, named after Anatolia, whose article was published in 2023.
DATES BACK 9 MILLION YEARS AGO
Sevim Erol told AA correspondent that the fossils from the Çorakyerler excavation site date back about 9 million years.
Sevim Erol explained that they started working at Çorakyerler Vertebrate Fossil Localite primarily to save the fossil bed, and that they encountered new extinct species as the work continued, and said, “We recovered fossil remains of 43 species in Çorakyerler. 6 of these are species unique to Çorakyerler, and 4 of them are currently published in international refereed scientific journals.”
Stating that they have obtained very important findings from the excavation area so far, Sevim Erol said, “We are trying to introduce this animal by naming it Chorakensis, that is, Çorakyerler, a species that lived in Çankırı region. So far, its characteristics show us that it only lived in Çankırı. These are mostly horned species, that is, larger than goats, with a smaller morphology than deer. Chorakensis, which we call Chorakensis, is an animal similar to the shape of the Tibetan ox because it lives in China.”
Stating that the fossil of an antelope-like creature between deer and goat found during the excavations was named “Gangraia anatolica”, Sevim Erol said, “Our other new species is Gangraia anatolica. This is also a species we have given a new name. Gangraia was one of the ancient names of Çankırı. This is a species that is in a size between deer and goat, again found only in Çankırı.”
Stating that a fossil belonging to an animal similar to an arrowed hedgehog was found and that they named it “Hystrix kayae”, Sevim Erol said, “It is an animal unique to Çankırı. We gave this species the surname of Çorakyerler team member Prof. Dr. Tanju Kaya at Ege University.”
Explaining that the fossils belonging to a gorilla-like species named “Anadoluvius turkae” were also published, Sevim Erol said:
“I will call it a new gorilla-like creature published in the latest Nature magazine, we named it Anadoluvius turkae. In fact, although similar species are found in Greece and Bulgaria, the species we found in Çankırı has much different characteristics than them. Of course, we only obtained the remains of the face and teeth of this fossil. When we find the body remains, we will be able to define it much more clearly, but based on the characteristics of this animal that we have identified with the current information, we understand that it lived only in and around Çankırı province.”
“WE HAVE INTRODUCED 4 NEW SPECIES TO THE SCIENTIFIC WORLD”
Pointing out that the species found in Çankırı were given names specific to Çankırı because they originated in Çankırı and similar species were not seen elsewhere, Sevim Erol said the following:
“When new excavations are carried out in other places and fossils similar to these species are found, they will be referred to with the names we have given. In Çankırı, we have brought 4 new species to the scientific world so far. There are still new species that need to be published. Our studies continue. With scientific studies, we will introduce new species to the scientific world with new publications in the coming years.”