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The last of a lineage of giants: the discovery story of Anancus arvernensis mencalensis

The geographic and geologic context

As is so often the case, it was chance, or the conjunction of chances, that was the deciding factor in advancing our understanding of the life that inhabited our planet thousands and millions of years ago.  It was during the month of July, 2006, when, under a blazing sun, the paleontologists who were conducting a survey for the Fonelas Project discovered new fossil localities in the desert of Guadix in southeastern Spain.  

desert pic Guadix Desert (southeastern Spain)

493 blogGeochronology of the upper Alturas Formation, northern California: Implications for the Hemphillian-Blancan North American Land Mammal Age boundary

Steven R. May, Andrei M. Sarna-Wojcicki, Everett H. Lindsay, Michael O. Woodburne, Neil D. Opdyke, Elmira Wan, David B. Wahl, and Holly Olson

Charles Repenning was one of the foremost world experts on Arvicoline evolution and biostratigraphy. Based on early radiometric dates and magnetic polarity stratigraphy, Rep interpreted the first stratigraphic occurrence of Mimomys in the section at Alturas, California as the oldest occurrence in North America and therefore considered it very important for constraining the age of the Hemphillian - Blancan land mammal age boundary.

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