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Re: New Mesozoic mammal
On Wednesday, January 12, 2005, at 03:44 PM, Christopher Taylor wrote:
"Mesozoic mammals are commonly portrayed as shrew- or rat-sized
were mainly insectivorous, probably nocturnal and lived in the shadow
dinosaurs. The largest known Mesozoic mammal represented by
complete remains is Repenomamus robustus, a triconodont mammal from the
Lower Cretaceous of Liaoning, China. An adult individual of R.
the size of a Virginia opossum. Here we report a new species of the
represented by a skeleton with most of the skull and postcranium
in articulation. The new species is 50% larger than R. robustus in
length. In addition, stomach contents associated with a skeleton of R.
robustus reveal remains of a juvenile Psittacosaurus, a ceratopsian
dinosaur. Our discoveries constitute the first direct evidence that
triconodont mammals were carnivorous and fed on small vertebrates,
My question is, what diet was supposed for Repenomamus before discovery
of one with stomach contents intact? And are there differences in
dentition between the 2 species?
and also show that Mesozoic mammals had a much greater
range of body sizes than previously known. We suggest that Mesozoic
occupied diverse niches and that some large mammals probably competed
dinosaurs for food and territory."
Doesn't strike me as surprising - I recall a wildlife program showing
ants kill baby crocodiles.