Photo: New Mammal Fossil Sheds Light on Teeth Evolution



A newly discovered Jurassic mammal is seen here in an artist's depiction foraging among fallen ginkgo leaves and arthropod shells (top). Based on the size and shape of the skeleton (bottom), scientists believe the 4.7-inch-long (12-centimeter-long) creature was a powerful digger that ate plants and insects.

The animal's teeth could both cut and grind, showing that the key dental adaptation evolved separately at least twice in the history of mammals, the researchers add.

Illustration by Mark A. Klingler, Carnegie Museum of Natural History


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