Salt Lake Tribune
Jeff and Denise Roberts love to roam the hills south of Richfield, sleuthing for fossils and ancient artifacts. During one of those trips several years ago, the couple found fossilized jaw bones so small they can sit on a penny.
The significance of those puny jaws outweighs their size: Paleontologists say they shed light on an era in Utah 8 million years ago that has produced few fossils, unlike the huge dinosaur bones from earlier periods that have made the state a paleontology treasure trove.
The Roberts reported their find to state experts, who determined the fossils came from two heretofore unknown species of rodents related to modern deer and pocket mice. In their honor, the species related to the deer mouse was named Basirepomys robertsi , while the other species was named Metaliomys sevierensis for the formation in Sevier County where the fossils were found.
IN THE MEDIA