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Re: LATE SURVIVING CYNODONTS



> People continue to overlook _Chronoperates_, a non-mammalian cynodont from the
> Palaeocene. This taxon (known from a posterior mandible) was deemed distinct
> enough for its own family. If the allocation is correct (I recall from the 
> paper
> that the case was very good as no other identity agreed with the characters),
> _Chronoperates_ shows that tritylodontids were not the last non-mammalian
> cynodonts, and that there were elusive little ones running around throughout
> the Cretaceous and surviving across the KT boundary.
> 
> _Chronoperates_ was described in _Nature_ in 1992 or thereabouts - I'm afraid
> I don't have the reference to hand. To denote its remarkably unexpected
> occurrence (it's a Cainozoic 'living fossil'), the name given to it means 
> 'Time
> wanderer'. It's possible that I'm out of date on this matter and maybe 
> opinions
> on this fossil have changed. Please let me know if so. 

I am very glad you mention Chronoperates (see Fox et al: 
Post-Jurassic Mammal-like Reptile from the Paleocene, Nature 358, 233 
(1992). I did not mention it because the original Letter to Nature 
was followed by a reply by Sues who questioned the conclusions of Fox 
about the non-mammalian cynodont status of C. The latest thing I read 
about it was a correspondence by Forey in Nature 1993 who argued that 
the material was too incomplete and lacked diagnostic characters to establish 
its 
precise relationships within the cynodont lineage. So I assume that 
Chronoperates is now considered as Cynodontia incertae sedis (which 
of course, does not exclude it from being a mammal).
But I would like to ask the same question as Darren: is there new 
information about Chronoperates?
 
> There has been one other mention of a surviving non-mammalian cynodont in the
> literature: it's been proposed that New Zealand's waitoreke is a descendant of
> _Procynosuchus_. Puh-leeez..... pesky cryptozoologists... And I'm surprised no
> one has theorised madly on the furry dog-headed 'lizards' seen occasionally in
> Italy. Same locale as the giant chicken I wonder?;-) 

In fact we mammals are all descendants of a Procynosuchus-like 
basal cynodont...

Pieter Depuydt