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Prehistoric Rodents Highlighted in New Report

Rodents & Mice

A newly published report describes the discovery of two new prehistoric rodents in Utah believed to be about 8 million years old.

| February 12, 2010

A newly published report describes the discovery of two new prehistoric rodents in Utah believed to be about 8 million years old.

The site, in central Utah near Sevier, has since been the site of the discovery of several hundred vertebrate fossils, including those belonging to extinct camels, carnivores and elephants.

Jeff and Denise Roberts, amateur naturalists from Annabella, Sevier County, first discovered the fossil site in 1996 in the Sevier River Formation. One of the new fossils, a relative of the modern-day deer mouse, has been named Basirepomys robertsi in honor of the Robertses.

Don DeBlieux, the report's co-author and a paleontologist with the Utah Geological Survey, said the findings have significance because previously, Utah had been a "hole" in that geologic time frame in western North America for fossil mammals.

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Source: Deseret News

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