The pre-mammalian rodent-like creature is offering new insights in to how our distant ancestors lived.
The almost intact fossil was discovered in China and is one of the earliest known examples of a hairy mammal-like creature ever found. While appearing very similar to today's mammals, the species actually pre-dates true mammals and instead lived alongside dinosaurs in a humid world around 165 million years ago. The find is being hailed as one of the most significant pre-mammalian discoveries to date.
"Research always assumed that these were primitive and not highly specialized, but this animal shows that they were already highly specialized and highly adapted to special feeding strategies," said palaeontologist Thomas Martin.
"An extremely well-preserved rodentlike fossil recently discovered in China provides some of the best evidence yet for how the earliest human ancestors lived."
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Source: Live Science
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