A study led by researchers from the Institute of Geology of the Russian Academy of Sciences puts forth the fact that ancestors of the present–day rabbit lived in southeastern Siberia in Russia. This has been claimed when the remains of Amphilagus tomidai were recently located in Asia.
Amphilagus tomidai, a mammal and ancestor of the present–day rabbit lived on earth about 14 million years ago. Its discovery proves that Asia and Europe were once connected and were free of natural barriers due to the disappearance of Paratethys Sea. Amphilagus is a genus that was previously thought to exist only in Europe. However, its recent discovery signals that there were some paleogeographic and environmental conditions that helped this species flourish towards the east.
Miocene period that began around 23 million years ago and ended 5.3 million years ago may have given rise to the barrier–free linking of Europe and Asia that allowed the spread of this animal. Co–author of the study Chiara Angelone said, “These ancient animals help us to understand the climatic and paleogeographic conditions of that period. Some discoveries add new insight into what we already know.”