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News From the Field
New Species of Ancient Rodents Hint at What Could Be World's Oldest Grasslands

July 24, 2012

fossilized jaw of the oldest chinchillid rodent Researchers have described two ancient species of South American rodents, including the oldest chinchilla--a discovery that substantiates what might be the earliest grasslands in the world. The two new species lived about 32.5 million years ago in what are now the Chilean Andes. Studies of the teeth of the ancient chinchilla support evidence indicating that the animals inhabited an open and dry environment 15 million years before grasslands emerged elsewhere in the world. Full Story

Source
University of California, Santa Barbara

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2014, its budget is $7.2 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 50,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes about 11,500 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $593 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

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