Scientists Uncover Dolphin Fossils That May Provide Hints About Ancient Sea Level Rise

The fossil of the ancient Isthminia panamensis dolphin may help scientists.

New details about Isthminia panamensis -- a newly discovered dolphin genus and species -- was published in the scientific journal “PeerJ” this week after years of study and restoration.

The fossil is an estimated 6 million years old and closely resembles the Amazon river dolphin, with a long nose and tiny eyes.

But, the bones were found in an oceanic area, leading scientists to believe that it had swam towards inland rivers once ocean levels rose.

“Knowing more about the evolutionary history of River Dolphins is giving us important information into the circumstances under which river dolphins evolved,” Smithsonian paleontologist Nick Pyenson told ABC News.

“This is an example of how the fossil record can bear critical issues of our time.”