New Mexico Geology Magazine Features Bosque Fossil

The latest issue of New Mexico Geology, a publication of the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources, features a report on a fossil discovered at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in 2008.

The fossil is the remains of an extinct mammal called an oreodont, which wandered the western United States in small groups browsing on leaves and soft vegetation during the Miocene period. This particular oreodont, which is between 11 and 9 million years old, was remarkably well preserved, including its larynx (voicebox) and the bones supporting the tongue, which are very seldom fossilized.

The November 2009 issue of 'New Mexico Geology.'

The fossil find was significant because it is one of the youngest examples found in New Mexico. It was discovered by geologists from the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources and New Mexico Tech: Dr. David Love, Dr. Richard Chamberlin, and graduate student Colin Cikoski. It was excavated by a team from the New Mexico Museum of Natural History, led by Gary Morgan. All of them were co-authors of the paper, as well as Dr. E. Bruce Lander of Paleo Environmental Associates of California and Lisa Peters of bureau.

The magazine also contains a gallery of photos documenting the excavation process.

The issue also contains abstracts of talks given at the recent New Mexico Mineral Symposium and the announcement of Guidebook 60 published by the New Mexico Geological Society: Geology of the Chupadera Mesa, a guidebook documenting a field conference held in central New Mexico in 2009.

New Mexico Geology is published quarterly by the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources. Subscription price is $15 per year and may be obtained from the bureau, Socorro, N.M. 87801 or by calling 575-835-5302.

It is also online at geoinfo.nmt.edu/publications/periodicals/nmg/home.html.




(Kathleen Hedges)