[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Re: New BBC series research

<<So, I'd love to hear from anyone about their 'favourite' beast which they think deserves the limelight, stunning fossils that tell us a lot about a particular species, group, or environment, unusual techniques that are revealing new findings - anything, really! At this stage it is almost carte blanche.>>

/Repenomamus robustus/, a Lower Cretaceous roughly 40cm long (ignoring the tail) triconodont mammal killer, who enjoyed (judging by the preserved stomach content of one specimen) looking after /Psittacosaurus/ babies by tearing them to pieces and swallwing them. Should the motherosaura have objected, then Rep's larger sister, /R. giganticus/ (about 70cm ignoring the tail) might have been willing to hold discussions.

/Castorocauda/, a perhaps Middle Jurassic (or maybe later) docodont mammal, who decided to fossilize her fur, some 'extra' lower jaw bones (most non-mammalian by today's standards, and the soft scale on its semi-aquatically adapted tail. This is the finest fossil find of the entire 21st century.

/Volaticotherium/.  A Middle Jurassic (or maybe later) mammalian glider.

/Xenocretosuchus/ of Siberia and a couple of not yet described tritylodontid Lower Cretaceous colleagues from Japan. Tis oft assumed that non-mammalian cynodonts saw their mammalian 'descendants', and were so impressed with mammals that the non-mammal cynos all dropped dead. Xenocret and Co demonstrate non-mammalian cynodonts were still breeding well into the Cretaceous.

All of those are obviously megastars and, along with /Eomaia/ (a kind of forerunner of placentals) and /Sinodelphys/ (ditto for marsupials) the first three mentioned are staggeringly telegenic.
Trevor Dykes

Mesozoic eucynodonts
"I've seen the /Castorocaudas/ of Longleat"