Elephant kin liked the water

Isotopes in tooth fossils add new clues to debate

By Sid Perkins, 19:18 PM April 24, 2008

The ancient kin of modern elephants may have spent much of their time in lakes, rivers or swamps.

Creatures in the proboscidean genus Moeritherium have been known for more than a century, but scientists have never agreed about how the animals lived, says Alexander G.S.C. Liu, a paleontologist at the University of Oxford in England.

Liu and his team analyzed fossils from 37-million-year-old rocks southwest of Cairo. Other fossils from the same sediments include terrestrial anima...

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