Thursday, November 3, 2011

Saber Tooth Squirrel Fossil

The November 3rd, 2011 issue of Nature highlights a new mammal species Cronopio dentiacutus researched by the University of Louisville's Dr. Guillermo Rougier. The animal is a squirrel with large fangs that lived in the times of the dinosaurs (Triassic).  The fossil in matrix was found in 2002 in northern Argentina with prep work finished in 2008. The fossil is named characters in the books of Julio Cort├ízar

It has been compared to a computer animation character Scrat in the Ice Age movie. See pictures in article at Daily Mail: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2056715/Fossil-sabre-toothed-squirrel-fills-60million-year-void-knowledge-South-American-mammals.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

National Geographic has an artist rendering of what the squirrels might have looked like: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/10/101102-saber-toothed-squirrel-fossils-paleontology-dinosaurs-science/

Find the Nature article here: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v479/n7371/full/nature10591.html

Learn more about Dr. Rougier who teaches in the University of Louisville's School of Medicine: https://louisville.edu/medschool/anatomy/faculty/faculty/professors/guillermo-rougier-ph-d.html

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