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Running Messel mammals

Nick Longrich wrote:

>On Fri, 27 Sep 1996 Dinogeorge@aol.com wrote (quoting Mickey Rowe):
>> > No other animal past or present ran like theropods do (i.e. two
>> > legs, a horizontal spine, a sigmoidal neck and a long
>> > counterbalancing tail).  Sometimes the specifics are important...
>Well, other than the S-curved neck, there WAS some small (eocene?)
>shrew-like critter with enormous long legs that appears to have been a
>biped (althought it's possible it was a leaper...). Don't recall the name
>offhand, but I remember it from the "Macmillan Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs
>and Extinct something or other".

Lepticidium, of the Messel Beds.  I dealt with it somewhat in my
disseration, but had to cut it out of the morpho paper in JVP for space
reasons.  Personally, I think that it got the closest of any synapsid to the
theropod locomotory condition, but many paleomammologists still think it is
a jumper.

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Vertebrate Paleontologist     Webpage: http://www.geol.umd.edu
Dept. of Geology              Email:th81@umail.umd.edu
University of Maryland        Phone:301-405-4084
College Park, MD  20742       Fax:  301-314-9661

"There are some who call me...  Tim."
-- Tim the Enchanter, "Monty Python and Quest for the Holy Grail"

"Tim?!?  They called me TIM?!?!"
-- me, on seeing the credits to "The Ultimate Guide to T. rex"  :-)