New species of shark fossil honors ETSU staffer

An undated photo of Sandra Swift from the East Tennessee State University website.

An undated photo of Sandra Swift from the East Tennessee State University website.

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (AP) -- A new species of shark fossil has been named after a staff member at East Tennessee State University.

Researchers who discovered the fossil named it in honor of Sandy Swift, a collections manager and technician at the school's Department of Geosciences. She has been working in paleontology for 25 years and has done work around the world such as curating fossils and sifting through sediments.

According to the journal Historical Biology, the shark swam the seas some 260 million years ago in the deep waters of the western coastline near what is today the Arizona and New Mexico state line.

The species has been named Kaibabvenator swiftae.

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