Huge UK hippo fossils point to warmer past, reports BBC I July 2004.
The fossilised bones of two ancient hippos that weighed about 6-7 tonnes (about half as big again as today’s descendants), have been found in Norfolk UK. They were recovered from a quarry along with horse, hyena, fish and a variety of rodent remains and are claimed to be more than 450,000 years old. Researchers believe the fossils open a new window on the UK’s past in the early Middle Pleistocene when average UK temperatures were about 2 degrees C higher.
Palaeontologist Simon Parfitt, from the Natural History Museum, told BBC News, “The site was first visited by a local amateur geologist who came across these deposits and realised they contained something that was really very exciting.”
The fossils are about 10-15m (30-50ft) under the surface and were covered by glacial deposits. The hippos probably died through natural causes as their bones show evidence of having being gnawed by hyenas, today found in Africa.
Editorial Comment: One cave we take people to on field trips in the UK contained Hippo and Reindeer bones. It’s obvious that the winter cold which came after Noah’s flood (Genesis 8:22) and the ice that followed (Job 6:16, 38:29,30), have been powerful separators of the world’s animal populations. Reindeer and Hippo could survive together in a mild climate, but only the Reindeer with its fur could cope with the ice. Hippos either moved on or died out.
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