Newly Discovered Primate Fossil is Named After MSU Professor
May 26, 2011 at 11:16 PM CDT - Updated June 24 at 4:51 AM
The science department at Midwestern State university is getting the spot light. A newly discovered primate fossil found on a piece of land donated to the university is being named after MSU professor Dr. Norman Horner.
Dr. Horner tells Newschannel 6 he's honored and was in shock when he found out the primate fossil was going to be named after him. He's as humble as they come, but will gladly accept the recognition.
A professor at UT discovered the fossil and says he wouldn't have been able to find it without Dr. Horner's permission to use the land. So Dr. Kirk says he wanted to name the fossil after Dr. Horner for that reason, and for Dr. Horner's accomplishments in science.
Dr. Chris Kirk, Professor at the University of Texas says, "he is working tirelessly to establish this new field station which is really going to be one of the crown jewels of MSU. When everything is set up with the research they want to do, MSU is going to be the place to go."
The fossil is named Mescalerolemur-Horneri and would have most closely resembled a small present day lemur. Dr. Kirk tells Newschannel 6 that primate fossils are some of the rarest you can find. The new find is one of six fossils found on the land located in West Texas which Dr. Horner calls one of a kind.
Midwestern State University encourages students to go visit the sight and during the year the Science Department will take classes out to the sight to collect material.
Dr. Horner tells Newschannel 6 that he hopes to grow the facility out in West Texas into a first class research station with accommodations that range all the fields of science.
Researchers say the new primate fossil is from a time period of 43 million years ago called the Ecoscene Epoch period.