NewsCovering Colorado


A new species of a 65-million-year-old mammal was discovered near the Colorado Springs area

Militoconodon 1_lowres.jpg
Posted at 12:31 PM, May 03, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-06 08:59:52-04

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — A little piece of history was recently uncovered in the Colorado Springs area, as a new species of mammal was discovered in the Corral Bluffs area.

Denver Museum of Nature and Science researchers announced the discovery.

The "Militocodon Lydae" is a tiny mammal about the size of a chinchilla that roamed ancient Earth 65 million years ago.

Although this furry creature looks something like our rodents of today, it is actually an ancestor to hoofed animals such as deer, pigs, and cows.

The discovery of this new mammal is another piece of the puzzle that helps us to understand the life that existed before us. The Corral Bluffs area has been a treasure trove of discoveries for archaeologists going back to 2019 when mammals were discovered in the area.

WATCH: First-of-its-kind fossil found near Colorado Springs

Coming from the period just after the most recent mass extinction on Earth, the extinction of the dinosaurs, this mammal was one of the first that forged the path of modern mammals.

"Rocks from this interval of time have a notoriously poor fossil record and the discovery and description of a fossil mammal skull is an important step forward in documenting the earliest diversification of mammals after Earth’s last mass extinction,” said Dr. Tyler Lyson, Museum Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology.

The period of life following the extinction of the dinosaurs has been a period that has proven elusive to obtain good fossil records of and has kept its anonymity at a high because of it. The discovery of this new mammal will help scientists sketch a bit more of an accurate depiction of how mammals recovered from this mass event.

This study was led by Dr. Lucas Weaver of Kent State University, and Jordan Crowell of the Graduate Center, City University of New York. Upon the discovery, the two wanted to give a shout-out via the new discovery's name-sake. The Milito of Militocodon stems from Colorado Springs teacher Sharon Milito. The Lydae stems from Museum supporter and Champion of Colorado Springs Lydia Hill.

What a cool discovery in the little area near Colorado Springs to help understand the previous state of the entire prehistoric world.

News Tips
What should KOAA5 cover? Is there a story, topic, or issue we should revisit? Have a story you believe should make the light of day? Let our newsroom know with the contact form below.

Watch KOAA News5 on your time, anytime with our free streaming app available for your Roku, FireTV, AppleTV and Android TV. Just search KOAA News5, download and start watching.