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Still Waters

Fossilized tracks show earliest known evidence of mammals at the seashore

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Still Waters

Today, the rocks of the Hanna Formation in south-central Wyoming are hundreds of miles away from the nearest ocean. But around 58 million years ago, Wyoming was oceanfront property, with large hippo-like mammals traipsing through nearshore lagoons.

In a study published in Scientific Reports, geologist Anton Wroblewski, an adjunct associate professor in the Department of Geology and Geophysics, and applied biodiversity scientist Bonnie Gulas-Wroblewski of the Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute, report the discovery of several sets of fossilized tracks, likely from the brown bear-sized Coryphodon, that represent the earliest known evidence of mammals gathering near an ocean.



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