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Oldest Fisher Fossil Found In John Day National Monument

OPB | March 22, 2013 12:52 p.m. | Updated: March 22, 2013 3:17 p.m. | Portland

Contributed By:

Julia Silverman

Paleontologists in Oregon say they’ve found the partial skull of a fisher that’s more than seven million years old.

Type specimen of Pekania occulta, a new fisher species from John Day Fossil Beds National Monument -- NPS

Type specimen of Pekania occulta, a new fisher species from John Day Fossil Beds National Monument -- NPS

Fishers are members of the weasel family, known as excellent tree climbers.   The fossil was found at the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument.

The Blue Mountain Eagle reports that it’s the oldest known remnant of its kind in the world.

Researchers think the skull is more than seven million years old.

Previous fisher fossil remnants were all found in the eastern U.S.  They were all less than two million years old.

Fisher fossils have also been found in China and Mongolia.

News of the John Day discovery is detailed in the current issue of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleotology.

The specimen will go on display at the John Day Fossil Beds’ Thomas Condon Paleontology Center, on Highway 19 about 10 miles south of Kimberly.


World’s Oldest Fisher Found at John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

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