The discovery of "reptile-mammal" fossils could rewrite history
The 130 million year old fossilized skull belonged to a "reptile-like mammal". "(Illustration: Jorge A. Gonzalez)
The discovery of an unusual fossilized skull in eastern Utah sheds new light on the history of the earth.
The 130-million-year-old skull belonged to a hitherto unknown "reptile-like mammal".
Experts have described the new species, called "Cifelliodon wahkarmoosuch," in honor of paleontologist Richard Cifelli, in the journal Nature.
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"Based on the unlikely discovery of this near-. html We have now discovered a new, cosmopolitan group of early relatives of mammals, "said Adam Huttenlocker, lead author of the study and Assistant Professor of Clinical Integrative Anatomical Sciences at the Keck School of Medicine of the USC, in a statement  ReptileMammal2" />
Cifelliodone belongs to an extinct branch of mammalian ancestors, experts say (Jorge A. Gonzalez)
Experts from the Utah Geological Survey and the University of Chicago also worked on the study.
According to the study, cifelliodone is an extinct branch of mammalian ancestors.
Deseret News reports that, although it's young, the hairy cifelliodon laid eggs. Today, there are only two types of egg-laying mammals – the platypus and the spiny ant.
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The Discovery Enforces Paleontologists "Knowing how mammals evolved and dispersed in the age of dinosaurs The find also suggests that the division of the prehistoric supercontinent Pangea continued about 15 million years later than previously thought by experts, indicating that the migration of mammals and their close relatives lasted from 145 million to 101 million years ago.
"For a long time, we thought of early mammals as being from the Cretaceous (145 to 66 million years ago). "We were anatomically similar and not ecologically diverse," said Huttenlocker in the statement. "This finding of our team and others confirms that even before the advent of modern mammals, ancient relatives of mammals explored specific niches: insectivores, herbivores, carnivores, swimmers, sliders."
The cifelliodone weighs up to 2.5 pounds was about the size of a small rabbit. " It had teeth that resemble fruit-eating bats and could pinch, shear and crush," the University said of Southern California in their statement. "
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The reptile-like mammal is one of several prehistoric finds in Utah that there is generated buzz. For example, a family working in the backyard of their Lehi home has recently discovered the fossilized remains of an old horse. The remains, which are more than 2 million years old, are believed by experts to be an ancient type of Shetland pony.
Tourists at Red Fleet State Park in northeastern Utah, however, have unknowingly thrown dinosaur trails into a lake
Katherine Lam of Fox News contributed to this article.
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