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Protofeathers and hair



We also have evidence that Multituberculates had hair.  See Meng and Wyss,
Nature 385, 712 - 714 (20 February 1997): coprolites from something that ate
them contain both bones and (molds preserving microscopic surface structure
of) hair from Lambdopsalis.  Current thinking(*) is that Multis were more
closely related to living mammals than Castorocauda was, but it's another
data point confirming that hair was common well down on the mammalian family
tree.

(*) Though the exact placement of Multi's on the tree is uncertain: if you
think they are closely related to Haramyids, they may be further from crown
mammals than Castorocauda was.

--

Allen Hazen
Philosophy (PASI)
University of Melbourne