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Rugosodon, earliest multituberculate mammal from Jurassic of China



From: Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com

A new paper in Science, describing Rugosodon. The Supplementary
Materials are free.



Chong-Xi Yuan, Qiang Ji, Qing-Jin Meng, Alan R. Tabrum & Zhe-Xi Luo (2013)
Earliest Evolution of Multituberculate Mammals Revealed by a New Jurassic Fossil
Science 341 (6147): 779-783
DOI: 10.1126/science.1237970
http://www.sciencemag.org/content/341/6147/779


Multituberculates were successful herbivorous mammals and were more
diverse and numerically abundant than any other mammal groups in
Mesozoic ecosystems. The clade also developed diverse locomotor
adaptations in the Cretaceous and Paleogene. We report a new fossil
skeleton from the Late Jurassic of China that belongs to the basalmost
multituberculate family. Dental features of this new Jurassic
multituberculate show omnivorous adaptation, and its well-preserved
skeleton sheds light on ancestral skeletal features of all
multituberculates, especially the highly mobile joints of the ankle,
crucial for later evolutionary success of multituberculates in the
Cretaceous and Paleogene.

Lots of news stories:

http://www.nature.com/news/fossil-reveals-features-of-mammal-line-that-outlived-dinosaurs-1.13568

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/08/130815-multituberculate-rugosodon-early-mammal-evolution/


http://www.livescience.com/38924-ancient-rodentlike-creature-discovered.html