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One hundred and fifty kilometers separate it from the capital of Correntina . The Toropí Site is gradually transforming the town of Bella Vista into a gem cultural. It is that the findings on its soil make it a unique heritage in South America . We are talking about archaeological records of more than 40 species of animals that were once huge mammals .
In turn, they are visible witnesses that there once existed a time with similar living beings. In this way, paleontologists from all over the world reach the huge carcava to confirm it. This is an exceptional map that allows to reconstruct the evolution and disappearance of prehistoric fauna in this area of the continent.
Investigations on site started 40 years ago. However, the first studies were published in early 2000 . Under this line, the laboratories of the Centre for Applied Ecology del Litoral (Cecoal) , also located in Corrientes , perform a fundamental task . It is that within the institution around 10 thousand pieces corresponding to the discovered species are sheltered.
These are studied by scientists from all over Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, the United States and Spain . In fact, researchers involved argue that the advances made were thanks to the contributions of science that is constantly being renewed. Also, the exchange of information with professionals from all over the world. But the path of the reserve's potential is just starting.
The reserve was declared provincial Paleontological Heritage by law because of its relevance. When we say it's a carcava , we mean depression . It covers between four and five kilometers long and one wide up to the Paraná River . However, when it rains there is a great erosion that causes its increase in size. It should be noted that one of the most striking elements of the site is its unlikelihood of finding a whole animal. On the contrary, they are usually disjointed. This happens because of the growing tributary , which with water separated part of the skeleton. An aspect that differentiates it from others of its kind, where the burial of fossils is commonly given by the wind.
On the other hand, the animals that inhabited this region did so more than 30 thousand years ago, during the Pleistocene . This was the last time of the Quaternary period of the Cenozoic era, which precedes the Holocene. That is, the final stage in which the history of the earth is divided and extending to the present day. Under this line, there were mastodons of more than 4 tons and glyptodontes, which were huge armadillos up to 800 kilos. Also, remains of land sloths exceeding 700 kilos and giant turtles were located. The latter were similar in size to those we can see in the Galapagos Islands, in Ecuador.
A few years ago the Paleo museum Toropí was inaugurated, which allowed Bellavistenses to begin to live the experience fully. Here, collections belonging to the National University of the Northeast (UNNE) are exhibited, made up of the findings of countless researchers since the 1970s. It also envisages the creation of a geopark and an interpretation centre , among other projects aimed at encouraging this natural resource. Now you know: it's time to go out and play adventures on your next family vacation .
Publication Date: 23/10/2020
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