Wednesday, May 21, 2008

New Arizona fossil discoveries

The Eastern Arizona Courier reports a skull of a rhynchotherium 2.5 million year old relative of the extinct mastodon with four tusks is being excavated on BLM lands near Safford.

The fossil was discovered by Larry Thrasher, a geologist for the Bureau of Land Management in Safford, who also found bones from a fossil duck and three-toed horse.

In Gilbert, city officials announced the discovery of an upper-foreleg bone of a large camel known as camelops [right: camelops hesternus]. Dr. Robert McCord, chief curator of the Arizona Museum of Natural History in Mesa, is quoted in the Arizona Republic as saying "camelops measured 7 feet tall at the shoulder and roamed the earth between the late Pliocene period and the Pleistocene, until about 10,000 years ago. The exact age of the specimen found in Gilbert is hard to determine since the species thrived for almost 2 million years." It is the third discovery of a fossil camel family member in Maricopa County and the first record of camelops. The fossil find was made by crews building the South Water Treatment Plant.

No comments:

Post a Comment