# La Science s'aMuse: West Indian rodent fossils in the Isem sedimentation room

Welcome to La Science s'aMuse, the scientific program co-produced by the UM and Divergence-FM, which takes you on a cruise through the archipelago of Muse laboratories. This week, Pierre-Olivier Antoine, paleontologist atIsem, and Philippe Münch, geologist at Géosciences Montpellier, tell us about the West Indies 30 million years ago. In the second half of the program, Quentin Vautrin takes us on a tour of the sediment room at Isem.

For today's stopover, we take you on a journey through space and time. We're heading for the West Indies, with the rudder set at -30 million years. The archipelago we're sailing through is populated by ghost islands, sunk long before this world became ours. These islands are home to ancient rodents, and our guests today have traced them back to a single tooth.
A 32-million-year-old quenotte found in Puerto Rico belonged to a rodent from... South America! That's a swimming distance of several hundred kilometers... Can you believe it? You'd be right.

Our two guests explain in a recent study* published in Earth Science Review that the discovery of these fossils in Puerto Rico reveals the existence 30 million years ago of a chain of islands, now extinct, between the South American continent and the West Indies, which would have opened a passageway for these mammals before they were finally swallowed up. Our destination today is Atlantis, and our guides are Pierre-Olivier Antoine, paleontologist at theInstitut des sciences de l'évolution, and Philippe Münch, geologist at Géosciences Montpellier.

In the second half of the program, the In the engine room section continues the digging, but in the sediment room located in the basement of Isem. Hundreds of bags and tons of sediments that paleontologists will meticulously sort and excavate in the hope of discovering fossils sometimes no bigger than the head of a pin, a real painstaking task... They're called Isem rocks and Quentin Vautrin takes us on a tour of them.

La science s'aMuse, you've got the map, let's get on board!

Production : Divergence FM/Université de Montpellier
Animation and interview: Lucie Lecherbonnier
Interview and report: Aline Périault
Editing : Bruno Bertrand
Production : Bruno Bertrand

Listen to the "A LUM LA SCIENCE" program on Divergence FM 93.9