Buc-ee’s, Texas’s beacon for road trips – home to quite decent barbecue, popular merch, Beaver-themed snacks, and sparkling toilets – has made yet another mark on Texas history. Researchers at UT Jackson School of Geosciences have named a uncovered beaver fossil “Anchitheriomus buceei“ (“A buceei” for short) after the iconic Buc-ee’s mascot.
A group of Texas paleontologists originally discovered the 15-million-year-old fossil back in 1941. Curtis Hesse, one of the members of the team, planned to classify it as a new species. However, Hesse would pass on in 1945. Having a greater understanding of the of the fossil record, researchers – including lead author of publication A. buceei, Steve May – have picked up where Hesse left off.
An ancient inhabitant of the Texas Gulf Coast, A. buceei that would have looked something similar to the beavers of today, only 30 percent bigger. As for the inspiration behind the name, May came across one of Buc-ee’s highway billboards that read “This is Beaver Country”.
“I thought, ‘Yeah, it is beaver country, and it has been for millions of years,’” said May.
CEO and founder of Buc-ee’s Arch “Beaver” Aplin III said of learning of the discovery, mused that “Buc-ee’s has a longer history in Texas” than initially thought.
“Buc-ee’s was founded in 1982, but we may need to rethink our beginnings,” said Aplin.
Last April, a miniature Buc-ee’s popped up in Marathon, Texas out of nowhere. News of the wee new Buc-ee’s first emerged with a photograph uploaded by artist, Matt Tumlinson. The photograph instantly created a buzz among his Texan following. According to Tumlinson, the facade is located 20 miles east of Marathon on the way to the town to Sanderson and/or by driving toward Marfa ahead of the the split between Alpine or I-10.