Printer Friendly

Oldest East Coast mammals.

Oldest East Coast mammals

When construction workers in South Carolina recently dug a new hole for a hydroelectric turbine, they unearthed evidence of the oldest mammals yet discovered on the East Coast of the United States, reports paleontologist Robert M. Schoch of Boston University. Amateur collectors picking through the excavation near St. Stephen, S.C., found five teeth and a broken skull bone. Four of the specimens apparently come from four different German-shepherd-sized, hairy creatures, and the other two come from squirrel-sized mammals, Schoch says. All of them lived about 60 million years ago.

"I don't know of any other Paleocene mammals in the Southeast," Schoch says. Until now, the earliest known mammals from this area dated from the late Eocene, about 38 million years ago, Schoch says.

One of the larger teeth appears to have come from a previously unknown dog-sized mammal, which Schoch has named Mingotherium holtae, after the Black Mingo fossil layer, where the tooth was found.

"We had suspected before this that there must have been mammals on the East Coast in the Paleocene," Schoch says. "This is opening up a window on what they were."
COPYRIGHT 1986 Science Service, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1986, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Murray, Mary
Publication:Science News
Date:Aug 23, 1986
Previous Article:Extinctions: the earthly argument.
Next Article:Paean to a leader in evolutionary theory.

Related Articles
Mammal-like reptile skull from Mexico.
Strands that stand the test of time.
Record-breaking reptile.
Tiny tooth upends Australian history.
ARAB-US RELATIONS - May 23 - Bush Says Iraq Withdrawal Would Fuel Risk Of Al Qaeda Attack On US.
Soaring With Fidel: An Osprey Odyssey from Cape Cod to Cuba and Beyond.
Hope for hemlocks?

Terms of use | Copyright © 2016 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters