Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences
Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences

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OSU-CHS News > 2016

Oct. 06, 2016

Smith presents bronze replica of fossil jaw to Chickasaw Nation

OSU-CHS student Kaitlin Sauser submitted the winning photo, Grandpa’s Barn, in the student category in last year’s Rural Oklahoma Photo Contest.OSU-CHS Associate Dean Kent Smith shows off the replica of a jaw bone he discovered on an archaeological dig in the Great Basin.

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.

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