A 10 million-year-old fossil found during a geologic mapping project is being studied at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science. One of the geologists found a jaw and teeth about eight feet up from the canyon floor on February 22 east of the visitors' center. A team dug the fossils out of a steep cliff last week. The fossil is that of a plant-eating creature called an oreodont, which lived when New Mexico was a grassland with clumps of trees along a river. Oreodont fossils are uncommon in the Southwestern United States. Oreodonts resembled a cross between a pig and a camel which had large heads, small trunks, rather short legs on a longish body. Oreodonts lived during the Miocene epoch 10 million to 15 million years ago, according to scientists.
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