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Iowan Finds Four Million Year Old Fossil in Ethiopia

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Mark Mathison, far right, with members of a native tribe and fellow researchers in Ethiopia.

Mark Mathison of Iowa State University unearthed the fossil of a skull that belonged to a fox more than 4 million years ago in Ethiopia.

The fossil has now been named Vulpes mathisoni, or “Mathison’s fox” after it's finder. In this Talk of Iowa interview, Charity Nebbe talks with Mathison about the discovery, what it was like to unearth and research a fossil skull among the culture and politics of several Ethiopian tribes, as well as some of his other adventures as a geologist.

Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa