DURHAM, N.C. (CAP) - Archaeologists with the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center in North Carolina have made a startling discovery that they say could shed some light on one of Earth's most mysterious species: the bones of the prehistoric Upagus.
However, scientists are quick to point out that while similar in structure to the conventional Upagus, the skeleton is easily twice the size of its modern-day descendent.
"For years, our scope of study has been limited to the only one or two Upagus known to exist," said Dr. Gordon Robinson. "But now to think that these magnificent creatures were once plentiful throughout North America - that's the find of a lifetime."
Once believed to have coexisted with the woolly mammoth, the Upagus now appears to predate the Pleistocene creature by as much as two million years. Scientists have classified the new find as Upagus Elefas in order to differentiate it from the present-day Upagus Snuffl.
"The snuffl variety of Upagus, or Snuffy as we affectionately call him, is characterized by a much more leisurely demeanor than his ancestor likely had," said researcher Dr. Bob McGrath. "In fact, for a creature with a dinosaur-sized brain, the contemporary Upagus has done a remarkable job learning its ABC's."
This news comes on the heels of the recent discovery of the bones of the largest bird ever to have flown. Research into fossilized stomach contents show that while the two creatures may not have eaten the same things, they definitely were not predator and prey. In fact, scientists think the two creatures may actually have co-habited in a gigantic nest.
- CAP News Staff