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RE: "Gigantic" early mammal

The article on CNN.com includes a picture of giganticus, and a painting of a reconstruction.


Allan Edels

From: Jeff Hecht <jeff@jeffhecht.com>
Reply-To: jeff@jeffhecht.com
To: Dinosaur mailing list <dinosaur@usc.edu>, vrtpaleo@usc.edu
Subject: "Gigantic" early mammal
Date: Wed, 12 Jan 2005 15:24:02 -0500

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


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
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