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Re: Platypuses may be older than we think...
Good point. Nevertheless, monotremes (both living and extinct) can be
broadly divided into two categories: 'diggers' and 'swimmers'. Modern
echidnas are diggers, and so was _Kryoryctes_ (based on humeral
Fine, but the platypus digs burrows, too, so it's not that far away.
_Obdurodon_ (for which a beautiful skull is known) is certainly a bona
Agreed, but it's only Miocene.
This same paper also supports the referral of _Monotrematum_ to the
Ornithorhynchidae, saying "...the lower molar morphology of _Monotrematum
sudamericanum_ agrees with previous statements that it is a monotreme
closely allied with _Obdurodon_."
Then maybe the echidnas are ornithorhynchids and closely allied with
*Obdurodon*, too. With the presently known fossils, we won't find out. We
still don't know any tachyglossan teeth, and we still don't know anything
but teeth from *Monotrematum*.