Three fossils of primitive mammals discovered

66 million years ago, the impact of a giant asteroid in what is today the Gulf of Mexico produced a series of disasters. They eventually led to the extinction of non-avian dinosaurs like many other species on land and sea. These extinct species gave way to others that were able to thrive in ecological niches, thus breaking free. Among them, mammals took the opportunity to diversify very quickly after the disappearance of the “terrible lizards”.

three new species

This is in any case a newly published study attests. In Journal of Systematic Paleontology which describes the discovery of three new species of mammals that appeared in the first moments of the Paleocene, the period after the Cretaceous period, the extent of which marks the end of the era of the dinosaurs. These three newcomers lived in what is today North America. Great Divide Basin, Dan Le Wyoming. Their fossils were discovered by a team from the University of Colorado. they were gradually baptized miniconus geninaehandjob conacodon hettingeri And Barnes Honey. JRR Tolkien fans will note that the nickname The Hobbit evokes the character of Bayern, Bilbo and the Hobbit Who had the ability to transform into a bear. A name chosen because of its dental characteristics which we will develop a little further.

Fossils indicate that they belong to a diverse group of three Placental mammals called archaic ungulates (or condylarthres) are the ancestors of extant hoofed mammals such as the horse, elephant, cow or even the hippopotamus. More precisely, they are part of the Periptychidae family, which differ from other condyloarthurs by their teeth, in particular the more developed premolars and the presence on some vertical enamel ridges. Researchers suggest that this may mean that their owners adopted an omnivorous diet and that their teeth were capable of grinding meat like plants.

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larger than the time of dinosaurs

the eldest of the three, Beyonce’s Honey, was the size of a marmot or domestic cat. They had a jaw with cheek teeth (molars and premolars) that had the function of chewing with larger molars, from which they got their name. conacodon hettinger while it was a little miniconus geninae It was the smallest of the three. Despite everything, it was more impressive than the first mammals that lived in the time of the dinosaurs and which generally did not exceed the dimensions of a small mouse.

The discovery of these three fossils indicates that a few hundred years after the extinction of the dinosaurs, there has been a rapid diversification of mammals in this western part of North America. Until now paleontologists believed that their diversity was of little importance. Over 400 mammal fossils unearthed Great Divide Basin. Most are still being investigated. Once the results of the analysis are known, it may well be that many new species will support this idea.

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