Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Fossils of Forest Rodents Found in Bolivia

Fossils of Forest Rodents Found in Bolivia

Two new rodent fossils have been discovered at a Bolivian site, called Quebrada Honda, at 12,000 feet above sea level it is among the highest reasearch sites in the Western Hemisphere. One of the new species named Mesoprocta hypsodus, is related to agoutis and acouchis & probably looked like a guinea pig with long legs while the other, Quebradahondomys potosiensis, was a spiny rat, related to guinea pigs and chinchillas. Radiometric and paleomagnetic dating techniques puts the age of the fossils at about 12.5 to 13 million years old. Examinations of the teeth suggest both were forest dwelling animals though forested habitats no longer exist in the Quebrada Honda area.


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