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University of Florence: 20 Million Year old Sea Cow fossil found in Philippines cave

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Extinct sea cow fossil found in Philippines. Italian scientists have discovered the bones of an extinct sea cow species that lived over 20 million years ago in a Philippines cave.Limestone rock above the waters of an underground river on the island of Palawan revealed several ribs and spine parts of the aquatic mammal, says expedition head Leonardo Piccini, a geologist from the University of Florence.The discovery of the extinct sea cow species was announced during a symposium at the Philippine presidential palace. Piccini says that it was a rare find in the region from the Miocene era, which is about 20 million years ago.It is the first remains of this kind of animal in the area, so it is important in reconstructing the habitat and the diffusions of this animal in the Miocene, he says.Such fossil finds in the East have been limited to India, with some fragmented finds in Madagascar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the Indonesian island of Java. The specimens (found) in the Palawan Island represent the first from the Philippines and the easternmos. – Scientific Curriculum Vitae of Leonardo Piccini. Born in Firenze on

June 23 1960. He received the degree in Geological Sciences on July 1987, at the University of Florence. In 1992 he received the Earth Science PhD. Since 1997 he joined as full researcher the University of Florence – Department of Earth Science. Since 1997 he collaborates regularly to the lectures of Physical Geography, Geomorphology and Hydrogeology. From school year 2001-2002, he has obtained the official teaching of the courses of Photogeology and Remote Sensing, and Photo-interpretation Laboratory.The research activity focuses on the karst landforms and processes and concerns the following topics:Geomorphology – Studies involved mainly karst systems of Alpi Apuane and Tuscan karts areas. Some other karst areas in Italy have been investigated: Monti Lessini, the Sorrentine peninsula and the area of Pietrasecca (AQ). Several missions have been performed abroad in: Philippines, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Mexico and Myanmar. In the last years, the studies have involved also hipogenic karst systems, either in Italy (Monsummano Terme, Saturnia), or in Mexico (Cuatro Ciènegas, Juquila, Naica), for what concerns the corrosion and deposition forms in hydrothermal conditions.Hydrogeology – Research, carried on with the work unit 4.9 of Gruppo Nazionale per la Difesa dalle Catastrofi Idrogeologiche del C.N.R., concerns mainly the hydrogeological setting, water resources and  vulnerability of karst and thermal aquifers. Glaciology – the research concerns epiglacial and englacial pseudo-karts forms with particular attention to the structure of englacial drainage network. Two missions abroad: in 1987, on Biafo Glacier (Pakistan) and in 2000, on glacier Tyndall (Patagonia, Chile).He is author or co-author of over 80 scientific publications on international and national journals, or presented at international and national conferences, 40 articles in books and monographies, and over 40 publications on speleological journals. Sources: Science News Daily & University of Florence

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