Tag Archives: Mammals

Mammals’ complex spines are linked to high metabolisms; we’re learning how they evolved

Mammals’ backbones are weird. They’re much more complex than the spines of other land animals like reptiles. Scientists wanted to find out how these complex backbones evolved in the first place. They discovered that the process was marked by big, … Continue reading

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Did early mammals turn to night life to protect their sperm?

Humans are diurnal — we are active in the day and sleep at night. But diurnalism is by far the exception rather the rule in mammals. About 250-230 million years ago, the mammalian ancestors, called the therapsids, became exclusively nocturnal, … Continue reading

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Jurassic fossil shows how early mammals could swallow like their modern descendants

The 165-million-year-old fossil of Microdocodon gracilis, a tiny, shrew-like animal, shows the earliest example of modern hyoid bones in mammal evolution. Paleontology News — ScienceDaily

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Dolphin ancestor’s hearing was more like hoofed mammals than today’s sea creatures

Paleontologists are looking into the evolutionary origins of the whistles and squeaks that dolphins and porpoises make — part of the rare echolocation ability that allows them to effectively navigate their dark environment. Paleontology News — ScienceDaily

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Climate, grasses and teeth: The evolution of South America mammals

Atmospheric circulation changes about 6 million years ago dried the South American climate and fueled the expansion of grasslands and grass-eating mammals, according to new research. Paleontology News — ScienceDaily

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Flowering plants, new teeth and no dinosaurs: New study sheds light on the rise of mammals

A new study has identified three factors critical in the rise of mammal communities since they first emerged during the Age of Dinosaurs: the rise of flowering plants; the evolution of tribosphenic molars in mammals; and the extinction of non-avian … Continue reading

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Mammals’ unique arms started evolving before the dinosaurs existed

One of the things that makes mammals special is our diverse forelimbs — bat wings, whale flippers, gibbon arms, and cheetah legs have evolved to do different, specialized tasks. Scientists wanted to see where this mammalian trait started evolving, so … Continue reading

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Homo sapiens colonized South Asian rainforest by hunting small mammals 45,000 years ago

A new study provides direct evidence for the hunting of tree-dwelling monkeys and other small mammals by Homo sapiens 45,000 years ago in the rainforest of Sri Lanka. Paleontology News — ScienceDaily

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For the first time, scientists are putting extinct mammals on the map

Researchers have produced the most comprehensive family tree and atlas of mammals to date, connecting all living and recently extinct mammal species (nearly 6,000 in total) and overturning many previous ideas about global patterns of biodiversity. The atlas shows where … Continue reading

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Paleontologists ID two new Miocene mammals in Bolivia

Researchers have discovered the 13-million-year-old fossils of a pair of new species of extinct hoofed mammals known as ‘litopterns’ from a site in Bolivia. Paleontology News — ScienceDaily

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