Fossils found north of Las Vegas belonged to saber-toothed cat
This June 5, 2012 image provided by the San Bernardino County Museum shows two fossilized leg bones from a saber-tooth cat wrapped in protective plaster after being discovered in the hills north of Las Vegas. Such a discovery would be rare anywhere, but this marks the first of its kind in the fossil-rich Upper Las Vegas Wash, which has been proposed for designation as a national monument. (AP / San Bernardino County Museum via Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Associated Press
Published Sunday, December 16, 2012 3:19PM EST
LAS VEGAS - Researchers say a pair of fossils unearthed in the hills north of Las Vegas belonged to a saber-toothed cat.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that a team from California's San Bernardino County Museum identified the fossils dug up in June as being front leg bones from the extinct predator.
Kathleen Springer, the museum's senior curator, says the saber-tooth fossils are thought to be approximately 15,590 years old.
The discovery marks the first of its kind in the fossil-rich Upper Las Vegas Wash. Springer heads a team that's been studying the wash for a decade and has been collecting fossils there under a contract with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management since 2008.
She says the bones of Las Vegas' only known saber-toothed cat are still being studied. There are no immediate plans to display them, but Springer expects that to happen eventually.