Excitement over newly discovered marine fossils
The residents of Elazığ’s Akçatepe village, who took their animals to graze on a hill at an average altitude of 1,100 meters (3,600 feet) above sea level, noticed that there were mussel-and snail-like remains on the surrounding cliffs.
They reported the situation to officials from Firat University for detailed investigation on the remains of different marine creatures.
Ercan Aksoy, a geology professor at the university, found that the fossils belonged to sea creatures that lived 34 to 48 million years ago.
Speaking to the state-run Anadolu Agency, Aksoy said that the mussel-like fossils found on the rocks are scientifically known as “lamellibranchia,” those that look like snails are “gastropod,” lentil-like remnants are of “nummulites,” and the others are of “sea urchins” and “coral.”
“The fossil existence in the area shows that this place was the shallow parts of a sea that existed in the past geological periods, with a depth not exceeding 200 meters,” he said.
The expert also said that this sea was part of the ocean called Neotethys, which began to open in the region 240 million years ago.
“Seas and oceans, like creatures, have certain lifetimes. When they come to the end of their lives, they close and begin to rise due to the compression force that causes them to close.”
He underlined that the existence of marine fossils in the region and the presence of different species are worth investigating to provide information about how many million years ago the area was on the seafloor.