Student finds new species

2015-10-05 22:01
Scientists digging for fossils in a cave. (Manot research team, AP)

Scientists digging for fossils in a cave. (Manot research team, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Lincoln - Fossils found by a University of Nebraska-Lincoln student in New Mexico have led to the discovery of a new genus and rodent-like species.

The Lincoln Journal Star reports the fossils were found in May 2014 by then-sophomore Carissa Raymond in New Mexico's San Juan Basin, during her first fossil hunt. She saw a row of small black teeth coming out of the ground.

"I knew it was different and big and had very interesting teeth," Raymond said. "But I couldn't have told you it was something new."

Raymond blanketed the fossilised jawbones and a partial skull roof in toilet paper and took them to Thomas Williamson, curator at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science.

"When Carissa found this thing and brought it to me, I instantly suspected it was new," Williamson said in a release from the University of Nebraska. "I'd never seen anything like it before."

A paper published on Monday by the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society says the new species, named Kimbetopsalis simmonsae, was alive roughly 65 million years ago during the Mesozoic and Paleocene eras. Researchers believe the rodent-like animal weighed as much as 20kg.

Raymond has since gone on several more fossil hunts in the western United States. But her other finds don't compare to her first.

"This was beginner's luck, but I was very lucky," Raymond said.

Read more on:    us  |  palaeontology

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.