Over the years, the principal river of Thessaly, the Pinios, has yielded important information about the past, a recent study reveals that at one time the region was inhabited by hippos, elephants and bison and other animals closely associated with modern day Africa and Asia.

In his study, The Paleolithic World of Pinios, Professor Athanassios Athanassiou, a geologist/palaeontologist, said many of the fossilised remains of mammals found in the region date back dating 30,000  to 45,000 years ago.

AMNA news agency reported that that the study found that the fossils date back to the Upper Pleistocene era, a period  that ranges from 180,000 to 10,000 years ago.

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The first fossils in the Pinios area were discovered by a German archaeological team in 1958. Since then the remains discovered have included those of the ancestors of present era elephants, bulls, buffaloes, ibex, antelope, deer, rhinoceroses, horses, hippopotami.

The discoveries are on display at University Medical School of Thessaly and also at the Museum of Larissa.