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New Mammal

Not a dinosaur paper, but given potential
mammal/dinosaur interaction this early on (EC) and
especially in China (but this is Montana, USA), I felt
_some_ relavance:

Cifelli, R.L. 1999. Tribosphenic mammal from the North
American Early Cretaceous. _Nature_ 401: 363-366.

and Supplementary Info at:


  describes new triposphenidan *Montanalestes
keebleri*, though the specific name is derived from
the Keebler family and thus should be ammended to *M.
keeblerorum;* meaning: "the Keebler family's Montana
thief." Phylogenetically, it is an apparently very
basal tribenosphenidan. From the Cloverly Formation,
Apt-Alb. (~110 mya), Carbon Cty, MT, US. Apparently
compares more closely with *Prokennalestes* than to
other tribosphenidans like *Otlestes,* *Slauteria,*
*Kermackia,* or *Kokopellia.* Argues for the
possibility that tribosphenidans (more acurately,
*Montanalestes*) display some features of marsupials
and would thus be basal to the split of Meta- and
Eutheria, or as a triad of lineages. Also pushes back
the Eutherian prescence in NAmerica a bit, where the
previous uncontested holders were Campanian (80 mya?)
in the form of *Paranyctoides* (Fox, R.C. 1984. _Spec.
Publ. Carnegie Mus. Nat. Hist._ 9: 9-20).

  So, you can draw your eutherians with *Deinonychus*
and *Tenontosaurus* and *Pleuroceolus* -- and
*Microvenator* (heh heh....)....

Jaime "James" A. Headden

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

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