For this week’s Fossil Friday, we have a newly identified protoceratid called Paratoceras orarius. This protoceratid is the smallest member of the informal protoceratid subfamily “Protoceratinae.” This specimen was found in the upper Culebra Formation and is early Miocene (He1, or early Hemingfordian North American Land Mammal Age [NALMA]). The specific name “orarius” means “estuarine” or “coastal,” which is the inferred environment for the upper Culebra.
If you would like to learn more about this specimen, read the publication that includes it below! Be sure to check out our other Fossil Friday protoceratid, which was renamed as a new species (Paratoceras coatesi) according to the same paper!
Rincon, A. F., Bloch, J. I., MacFadden, B. J., Jaramillo, C. A. 2015. New early Miocene protoceratids (Mammalia, Artiodactyla) from Panama. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. doi:10.1080/02724634.2015.970688. New early Miocene protoceratids (Mammalia, Artiodactyla) from Panama.