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Tiny hedgehog fossil could answer climate-change questions

Tiny Hedgehog Fossil Could Answer Climate-Change Questions

What could make a hedgehog, one of the cutest animals known to man, even cuter? Imagine one the size of your thumb.

A team of scientists led by researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder turned up the 52-million-year-old fossil remains of an ancient hedgehog species in British Columbia.

​Researchers have named it Silvacola acares​, which adorably translates to "Tiny forest dweller."

It's hard to say exactly what Silvacola looked like, but it would've been about a fourth the size of the African pygmy hedgehog, which are popularly kept as pets.

Researchers also uncovered fossils of a miniature tapir, belonging to the extinct genus Heptodon.

Tapirs are occasionally adorable pig-sized mammals with trunks that can be found in the jungles of South America and Southeast Asia.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the hedgehog and the tapir were the first mammal fossils ever to be discovered at the site, which has yielded insect and plant fossils in the past.

Both would have lived in an upland rainforest in Canada, similar to those found in the Pacific Northwest.

The researchers say the Eocene period in which the two species lived -- some 13 million years after the dinosaurs died out -- was one of the warmest in the history of the planet, and studying it could help scientists understand how the world may change as the global climate warms.

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BOB July 10 2014 at 7:03 AM

I'm sure the liberals can still blame man for the planet being so warm back then . I'm just waiting to hear what crap will be told .

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15 replies
cshae89546 July 10 2014 at 7:22 AM

Golly, this article would seem to the earth actually had cycles of climate change before the noefascist liberal progressive left decided it was a great excuse for destroying American industry and making America a third world economy?

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7 replies
ectullis July 10 2014 at 7:29 AM

Earth has gone through many climate changes. OMG

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4 replies
cshae89546 July 10 2014 at 11:09 AM

Can some great liberal progressive mind please explain the science that demonstrates how killing well regulated American industry and the associated American jobs when the production then invariably relocates to places like China and Pakistan where there is NO environmental regulation benefits our global environment?

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5 replies
cplandman July 10 2014 at 8:59 AM

All of the so called science predicting doom and gloom due to global warming is nothing but computer models. We cannot predict the weather two months from now but these computer modeling "scientists" can predict what will happen in 50 to 100 years from now? Junk science and a socialist government using this crap to take control of all of our lives.

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5 replies
chuck July 10 2014 at 11:56 AM

who will the libs blame for global warming that happens many times in earths history? human use of oil 25 billion years ago? doesent hold water then or now. craw back into your sewer pipes libs

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4 replies
FRAN July 10 2014 at 2:42 PM

We continue to see that the liberal media still insists that there is global warming! Get off it already! Earth goes through cycles, naturally!

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silkroadg July 10 2014 at 12:26 PM

So much environmental bullshit. But if it was warmer 13 million years ago, well, those dinosaurs must have been driving SUVs and it really gives "scientific" PROOF of the power of President Bush!!!

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cazsue July 10 2014 at 11:10 AM

How ironic the same folks who deny man-made global warming are the same ones who believe the earth is only 6,000 years old. But here they are schooling liberals! And they put the science illiterate on the Congressional Science Committee.

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5 replies
cazsue July 10 2014 at 11:13 AM

Deniers sure love having two spoiled brats run their country. All these Koch puppets just parrot their anti-science greed agenda.

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3 replies
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