Between 2007 and 2008, researchers found more than 6,500 fossils embedded in shale from Germany's Messel Pit, including an ancient ungulate, or hoofed mammal, called Kopidodon macrognathus,
whose skull is seen above. Researchers think this animal was a young male, based on its bony head crest and still-developing teeth in its upper jaw.
Despite its long canines, the animal's flat molars, specialized hip joints, and the strong grip of its front limbs suggest the creature was a tree-dwelling fruit-eater, not a predator. The scientists hope that analysis of the animal's preserved stomach contents will reveal more about its lifestyle during the Eocene.
Photograph courtesy Senckenberg Research Institute