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Prehistoric rodent fossil discovered

Posted on Thursday, 8 August, 2013 | Comment icon 12 comments

Image credit: CC 2.0 Keven Law

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."

  View: Full article |  Source: Live Science

  Discuss: View comments (12)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #3 Posted by SkepticalB on 9 August, 2013, 1:50
seems larger than the typical rat. a Rodent of unusual size, if you will. I don't believe in them
Comment icon #4 Posted by Lava_Lady on 9 August, 2013, 3:13
I have a pet rat the size of a football! lol
Comment icon #5 Posted by SkepticalB on 9 August, 2013, 5:07
And if I ever came across it you'd see a large man scream like a little girl.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Lava_Lady on 10 August, 2013, 12:40
Comment icon #7 Posted by cacoseraph on 3 September, 2013, 4:17
I think the fact you typed that pretty much proves it NICE! But, if you are ever in Tucson hit me up, you can visit my friend's capybara =P
Comment icon #8 Posted by Lava_Lady on 3 September, 2013, 4:33
Uncalled for insult by a total stranger... nice.
Comment icon #9 Posted by cacoseraph on 3 September, 2013, 4:47
I... think you didn't follow that one through all the way. If the predecessors of our species hadn't been quite as wily then our species probably wouldn't be here... yeah? Unless you were talking about my response to Skep? In which case that was a heartfelt NICE to a Princess Bride ref followed up with a legit invitation to visit with the largest rodent species extant in the world today. So clearly, I am just awful.
Comment icon #10 Posted by Lava_Lady on 3 September, 2013, 4:48
I don't really care.
Comment icon #11 Posted by cacoseraph on 3 September, 2013, 4:57
Obviously. But, I forgive you.

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