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Re: Mammalian hairs in Early Cretaceous amber

--- On Fri, 5/21/10, Richard W. Travsky <rtravsky@uwyo.edu> wrote:

> From: Richard W. Travsky <rtravsky@uwyo.edu>
> Subject: Re: Mammalian hairs in Early Cretaceous amber
> To: dinosaur@usc.edu
> Date: Friday, May 21, 2010, 8:32 AM

> > Two mammalian hairs have been found in association
> with an empty puparium in a ¡­100-million- year-old amber
> (Early Cretaceous) from
> This is very interesting. Not that there's a plethora of
> samples to look
> at, I'm sorta wondering why good hair finds have not
> previously been found.

Honestly, I'd bet that it's a matter of both sample size and overall 
accessibility. In most ecosystems, not only do insects tend to be more common 
on a population basis, they're also more likely to reach the portions of the a 
tree that may hold sap to preserve them in the first place (due to their 
morphology, ecological niche, etc.).

In other words, Mesozoic mammals may have been rarer than insects, but it's 
probable that at least partially arboreal mammals were even rarer.