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Originally published Sunday, December 16, 2012 at 2:27 AM

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Saber-toothed cat fossils found near Las Vegas

Researchers say a pair of fossils unearthed in the hills north of Las Vegas belonged to a saber-toothed cat.

The Associated Press

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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 (http://on.rgj.com/SyeHtn) 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 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.

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Information from: Las Vegas Review-Journal, http://www.lvrj.com

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