Scientists discover oldest fur seal fossil

February 16, 2015 4:53 PM

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The fossils -- newly identified by Robert Boessenecker from New Zealand's Otago University and Morgan Churchill from the University of Wyoming -- belong to a newly identified species and genus called Eotaria crypta.

The fossilized jaw bones and teeth were first retrieved from a 15 million- to 17 million-year-old rock formation in Southern California in the early 1980s. There were misidentified and have sat mostly unstudied in a museum collection in California for the last few decades.

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