Skip to main content
Email Print Share

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

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) 2016, its budget is $7.5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 48,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $626 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

 Get News Updates by Email 

Useful NSF Web Sites:
NSF Home Page:
NSF News:
For the News Media:
Science and Engineering Statistics:
Awards Searches: