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Texas researchers rediscover ancient beaver, name it Buc-ee's

AUSTIN (CBSNewsTexas) - Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin chose the name of a present-day state favorite -- Buc-ee's -- as the name for a new species of ancient beaver.

A graphic comparing the size of Anchitheriomys buceei with an average North American Beaver and an average man in the United States. Outlined in white are fossil bones in the UT collections, including a partial skull and jaw, and portions of the radius and ulna that make up the elbow.  UT Jackson School of Geosciences/ National Center for Health Statistics/ USDA Forest Service

Calling it Anchitheriomys buceei, or "A. buceei" for short, the rodent lived in Texas 15 million years ago and was about 30% larger than North American beavers living today.

Research associate at the UT Jackson School of Geoscience, Steve May rediscovered the fossil, which was originally found by other scientists 80 years ago.

May is the lead author of the paper that describes A. buceei, along with another, much smaller, species of fossil beaver, according to UT News

Published in the journal Palaeontologia Electronica, the paper provides an overview of beaver occurrences along the Texas Gulf Coast from 15 million to 22 million years ago based on bones and archival records in the UT collections.

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