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A Jurassic 'beaver'



Well, it had a beaver-like tail at least, and it is the oldest known 
semi-aquatic mammal, dated at 164 million years old. It's the biggest 
mammaliaform known from the Jurassic, although it's only a little bigger than a 
gray squirrel. It looks like Mesozoic mammals are considerably more diverse 
than had been thought. It's in the latest Science; New Scientist has a news 
story at 

http://www.newscientist.com/channel/life/dn8769.html

And for the dinosaur connection, it comes from the same deposits as Pedopenna, 
the enigmatic 'feather-foot' theropod. 
-- 
Jeff Hecht, science & technology writer
jeff@jeffhecht.com  http://www.jhecht.net
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