A fossilized skull and teeth from a newly described species of beaver which survived 28 million years back have been found and unearthed in eastern Oregon.
The fossilized skull and teeth of the ancient beaver were discovered at thee John Day Fossil Beds National Monument in eastern Oregon (Joshua Samuels/National Park Service/Associated Press).
The fossils worked their way out of the soil within a mile of the visitor center during the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, at least according to the paleontologist of the monument, Joshua Samuels.
He says that the finding holds great importance since unlike the other species of ancient beavers found at the monument, this one appears related to the modern beaver, a symbol of Oregon found on the state flag whereas all others were extinct.
The species is named Microtheriomys brevirhinus.
“It was less than half the size of a modern beaver and related to beavers from Asia that crossed the Bering land bridge to North America about 7 million years ago,” Samuels said
It roamed around 30 million years after the dinosaurs along with three-toed horses, giant pigs, saber tooths, rabbits, two-horned rhinos and many different species of dogs. It is now the monument during the Oligocene period.
The fossils along with 20 other rodent species were described in the May 15 edition of the journal Annals of Carnegie Museum.
The Paleontologist of the University of Oregon, Samantha Hopkins mentioned in an email that it will be really thrilling to analyze the findings in an evolutionary framework.