Friday, September 22, 2006

New Mammal Fossil Found in Bolivia

A new species of ancient mammal has been discovered—in the fossil collection of the National Museum of Natural History in La Paz, Bolivia.

The animal, which has been assigned the tongue-twisting name Hemihegetotherium trilobus, is a member of an extinct group called notoungulates, a term that means "southern hoofed mammals."

The creature resembles a cross between a dog and a hare. It was about the size of a beagle, weighing between 20 and 25 pounds (9 and 11 kilograms), and probably looked something like a capybara, the largest modern-day rodent.

This is a Notoungulate, a strange order that people are unsure how to classify.

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