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"Gigantic" early mammal



The latest find from the Yixian formation to challenge the conventional wisdom, 
a meter-long carnivore comparable to a honey badger or a Tasmanian devil. 
Previously the only evidence that Mesozoic mammals might reach such sizes were 
a handful of teeth and other fragmentary remains. A team from the American 
Museum of Natural History and IVPP describe the beast in Nature. They have a 
virtually complete skeleton of the big guy, preserved in three dimensions, and 
a pretty good specimen of a smaller one with Psittacosaur bones in its belly. 
My account for New Scientist is on line at

http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn6874

It's a triconodont, so it's not on the main line to any extant mammals, but it 
makes you wonder what else was out there. Really neat stuff, and great work. 
-- 
Jeff Hecht, science & technology writer
jeff@jeffhecht.com; http://www.jeffhecht.com
Boston Correspondent: New Scientist magazine
Contributing Editor: Laser Focus World
525 Auburn St., Auburndale, MA 02466 USA
v. 617-965-3834; fax 617-332-4760