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The Tribosphenida Under Foot and Claw



  Some of you may wonder why I'm posting on mammals on
this 'ere dino list, but like I explained in the last
mammal post I made (on Cifelli's *Montanalestes* in
_Science_ a few months back) there are ramifications,
though not big ones, that affect our treatment of
dinosaurs. Or at least their environment.

  Still, just to blurb this article, a short one,
really, Scientific American ran a two-page on the
recent mammal finds:

  Wong, K. 1999. Mammal melee. _Sci. Amer._ 282 (1):
25, 28.

  While attempting to revise the origin of placentals,
recently three new mammals have been described that
totally alter the full provenence of several groups
and suggest many faunal interactions that were not
considered possible before, including the Madagascan
tribosphenid *Ambondro mahabo* (named for the city of
Ambondromahabo; am-boon-droh mah-hah-boh is I remember
correctly), the Australian tribosphenid/placental
*Ausktribosphenos nyktos* (night southern tribosphenos
[triple swellings on the teeth]) which may or may not
be a placental, but that's not here, and Cifelli's
Cloverly *Montanalestes* (see my earlier post), which
is the earliest N.American placental tribosphenidan,
meaning you could restore little nesters and yawling
pink young with a *Deinonychus* or *Microvenator* on
the sniff outside, a scene not previously considered
plausible.

  The thing is, what would be the ramifications be
aside from new and interesting diets in placentals and
how mammals may have developed in relation to dinos so
early, of this new data? I await any takers, but
seeing as how this is the holiday season, I doubt much
will come very soon.

  Peace, dudes.


=====
Jaime "James" A. Headden

"Come the path that leads us to our fortune."

Qilong---is temporarily out of service.
Check back soon.
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