Kent Smith, OSU-CHS associate dean for the Office for the Advancement of American Indians in Medicine and Science, recently presented a fossil replica of a new mammal species named in honor of the Chickasaw people to Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby.
Smith and others named Brevimalictic chikasha in the March 2016 international journal Acta Palaeontologica Polonica. The fossil was discovered during a paleontological expedition to the Great Basin of Nevada.
The new species belongs to the family of mammals known as Musteliedae, which include badgers, wolverines and weasels. The ancient mammal is about the size of an existing long-tailed weasel and lived at a high elevation in a temperate forest ecosystem about 16 million years ago.
The bronze replica of the jaw bone will be on display to the public in the Chickasaw Cultural Center in Sulphur.