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At least it's not Hotcrossbunodon



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Subject: At least it's not Hotcrossbunodon
Author:  forteana@lists.primenet.com at smtp-fhu
Date:    3/10/1995 12:04 AM

And now, the latest from the folks who brought you the genus 
_Thingodontus_ and the species _montypythonicus_, Oz paleontologists with 
far too much time on their hands. I'd love to see the faces of the 
Nomenclature Committee when another proposal from Riversleigh comes in. 
Sounds like they rejected _Hotcrossbunodon_, which was the proposal when 
this item appeared in ANH a few months back.

-----
(from the Brisbane Courier Mail 3/10/95, p2)

OPALISED FOSSIL FIND A REAL GEM

A 100 million-year-old opalised jawbone found in Australia 
could shed new light on the evolution of mammals.

The rare fossil is from a distant relative of the platypus 
and echidna.

The jawbone, described by Dr Timothy F. Flannery of the 
Australian Museum in Sydney and colleagues in the latest 
issue of Nature Magazine, was discovered at Lightning Ridge 
in the Coocoran opal-mining belt of New South Wales.

The bone and enamel have been gradually replaced by opal - a 
perfect replica in semi-precious stone.

The molar teeth have four huge, rounded cusps. Each tooth 
looks like a hot-cross bun, leading to the animal being 
dubbed the kollikodon (from the ancient Greek word for bread 
roll).

The kollikodon lived in the age of dinosaurs, when mammals 
were rarley larger than mice. This find seems to have been 
the size of an otter.

The distinctive shape of its large crushing teeth suggest is 
scoured rivers and streams.

Tracing the ancestory of montremes, or egg-laying mammals, is 
difficult because those which have survived are starkly 
different to their ancestors.

A fossil almost entirely comprised of teeth is another 
headache for paleontologists.

-----

Games for the observant - see if you can pick the "disclaimer paragraph" 
inserted to prevent the newspapers being inundated with a creationist 
mail bomb campaign every time they infer an ancient age for the earth. 
Censorship ? Nah !

peter