Cuba uncovers first Cretaceous fossils

HAVANA, June 18 (Xinhua) — Cuban scientists have uncovered the first fossils found on the island and the Antilles dating from the Cretaceous period, the Cuban News Agency (ACN) reported Wednesday.

The fossilized bones, discovered in an abandoned quarry in the northwest region of central Ciego de Avila province, belong to animals that lived between 66 and 70 million years ago in the then-arch of post-volcanic islands of the Greater Antilles, according to a researcher at Cuba’s National Museum of Natural History (MNHNC).

MNHNC assistant researcher Reinaldo Rojas said the fossils, preserved in Cretaceous-era marine sedimentary rocks, were the remains of tetrapods, four-limbed vertebrates and their descendants, such as amphibians, reptiles, birds or mammals.

Rojas told the daily Granma that along with the vertebrate fossils, researchers uncovered abundant invertebrate fossils, including sea urchins and mollusks.

The finding could mark the beginning of valuable scientific research into the vertebrate fauna that inhabited the Caribbean region during the Cretaceous period, Rojas added.

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