DENVER, Colorado – Fossils of a newly discovered mammal species were uncovered in the Corral Bluffs on the edge of Colorado Springs earlier this year, according to the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. The 65-million-year-old animal, named ‘Militocodon lydae’, is part of a group of animals that eventually gave way to modern hoofed mammals.

The fossilized skull and jaw bones were discovered in rocks dated back to just after the extinction of the dinosaurs, providing some important context on the diversity explosion among mammals during that period. The Militocodon lydae is roughly the size of a chinchilla.

Rocks from this interval of time have a notoriously poor fossil record and the discovery and description of a fossil mammal skull is an important step forward in documenting the earliest diversification of mammals after Earth’s last mass extinction.” – Dr. Tyler Lyson, Museum Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology

The Militocodon lydae is named after two major contributors of the Corral Bluffs project: volunteer and retired Colorado Springs teacher Sharon Milito and Museum supporter Lyda Hill.

Related: Did You Know Fossilized Poop Is Called ‘Coprolite’?

Images Courtesy of Denver Museum of Nature & Science

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