Extinct otter species named after Grateful Dead guitarist

Associated Press

BOISE, Idaho (AP) – A U.S. National Park Service paleontologist and Grateful Dead fan has been credited with identifying an extinct species of otter found in south-central Idaho and named it after the band’s guitarist.

Self-described Deadhead Kari Prassack says traveling the country to see Bob Weir and the band gave her confidence to pursue her career.

When fellow scientists in April credited her with properly identifying the new species from a jaw bone found in the late 1980s at Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument, she named it Lontra weiri.

Scientists say it lived 3.8 million years ago and is the earliest known example of modern North American river otters.

The Grateful Dead disbanded after frontman Jerry Garcia died in 1995.

Weir continues to perform and is touring this summer with Dead & Company.

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