Newly Discovered Ancient Beaver Species Named After Texas Travel Center Buc-ee’s

Researchers from The University of Texas at Austin’s fossil collections have discovered a new species of ancient beaver, which they have named Anchitheriomys buceei, after Texas-based travel center chain Buc-ee’s. The discovery was made by Steve May, a research associate at the UT Jackson School of Geosciences, who found inspiration for the name from a Buc-ee’s billboard in 2020 that read, “This is Beaver Country.” The fossils of A. buceei were found in Texas and date back 15 million years. The beaver was about 30% larger than modern-day beavers, but smaller than the bear-sized beavers that lived in North America during the last Ice Age. The study was published in the journal Palaeontologia Electronica and funded by the UT Jackson School of Geosciences and the Texas Historical Foundation.

Image Credit: UT Austin