1 Tahrcountry Musings: New Mammal Named After Chocolate Giant Cadbury

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

New Mammal Named After Chocolate Giant Cadbury

Tom Rich, now curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Museum Victoria in Melbourne, Australia, led a dig at Dinosaur Cove from 1984 to 1994 in an effort to find dino fossils. Rich promised a Kilo of chocolate for every dino jaw dug up. Lot of chocolate was distributed. Quite certain that a mammal bone wouldn't be found, Rich promised a cubic meter of chocolate to anyone who came up with a specimen. By 1994 Dinosaur Cove the work was over. But there remained lot of specimens to be identified. One of the fossils turned out to be a mammal bone, from an early echidna. This was a specimen new to science. Tom Rich had to make good his promise. A cubic meter is lot of chocolate.Cadbury factory in Melbourne came to his rescue. Because there was no way of knowing who had actually found the bone, Rich invited all of the volunteers who had participated in the Dinosaur Cove dig to the presentation of chocolate. It was a chocolate galore. Naming a newfound animal species is largely the prerogative of the scientist who discovered the creature. Presto the species was named Kryoryctes cadburyi . Details appear in the December issue of the Journal of Mammalian Evolution.

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