Ancient Texas Beaver Named After Buc-ee’s
Sometimes it is art imitating life, and sometimes it is life imitating art. Then, there are years of Texas scientific research that say, "Ah, why the Buc not?"
A researcher at the University of Texas Jackson School of Geosciences recently named a newly rediscovered species of ancient beaver after the lovable mascot of convenience store chain Buc-ee's.
What is the official name of the ancient beaver?
Are you ready? It's a mouthful, and probably impossible to say with your cheeks stuffed with Beaver Nuggets. Say it slowly, because there are a lot of syllables: Anchitheriomys buceei, or, A. buceei, for short. There is no mistaking the "bucee," as a part of that name.
Why did they name the beaver after Buc-ee's?
According to this article from the Jackson School of Geosciences, the choice to name the beaver came from one of Buc-ee's famous billboards. Researcher Steve May, lead author of a Palaeontologia Electronica article about the prehistoric beaver, was driving along the highway in 2020 when he saw a billboard reading "This Is Beaver Country".
Since this newly rediscovered beaver was native to what is now Texas, May went with the Latin/Billboard combination for the win!
"I thought, 'Yeah, it is beaver country, and it has been for millions of years,'" May said.
Buc-ee's dad had this to say:
This particular type of beaver would have lived in the Lone Star State about 15 million years ago. Fossil evidence of it was discovered back in 1945, but the initial leader of that research died before he could complete his study and name the creature.
So, what did Buc-ee's founder and CEO Arch "Beaver" Aplin III have to say about modern researchers naming the ancient creature after his wildly popular chain?
“Buc-ee’s was founded in 1982, but we may need to rethink our beginnings,” he said.
Maybe the dams these beavers built had exceptionally clean bathrooms.
When will we be able to see Anchitheriomys buceei for ourselves?
We haven't received that information yet, but it is a good bet that the fossil will be displayed at the Jackson School Museum of Earth History in North Austin in the very near future, if it is not already.
A more "scienc-ee" article on the story can be read here via the University of Texas.