prehistoric groundhog gets its day
Last Updated : GMT 16:22:18
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Lived 66m years ago with dinosaurs

Prehistoric groundhog gets its day

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Prehistoric groundhog gets its day

Artist reconstruction of Vintana sertichi within context of tidal
Paris - Arab Today

A "bizarre" groundhog-like creature lived in the kingdom of the dinosaurs some 66 million years ago, according to a study Wednesday that rewrites the story of mammals.
Weighing some nine kilogrammes (20 pounds), Vintana sertichi is now the largest southern hemisphere mammal known to have existed in the Mesozoic era.
A "super heavyweight" compared to contemporary mammals that were no bigger than a mouse, the creature has a historic place in the book of life, the researchers said.
Its existence means that mammals -- which became the rulers of the planet after the dinosaurs were wiped out -- must have evolved millions of years earlier than thought, they said.
The 13-centimetre (five-inch) fossilised skull of the strange creature was discovered by chance in a 70 kg sandstone block that had been hauled from Madagascar to a New York lab.
"No palaeontologist could have come close to predicting the odd mix of anatomical features that this cranium exhibits," said David Krause of New York's Stony Brook University, who led the study published in Nature.
About twice the size of a modern-day groundhog, Vintana had rodent-like incisors and wear-proof molars, which were presumably used for tucking into roots, seeds and fruit.
Large eyes would have allowed it to see in low light, while the shape and size of its inner ear suggested the animal could hear higher frequencies than humans.
It was likely agile, and a large nasal cavity implied it would have had a keen sense of smell.
- 'Electric moment' -
A "remarkably bizarre" mix of primitive features and modern specialisations, Vintana represents a new genus and species of enigmatic early mammals called Gondwanatherians which lived on the supercontinent called Gondwana.
Only 30 years ago, Gondwanatherians were completely unknown.
The find allows the first insight into their habits and their place in the world during the twilight of the dinosaurs.
And it rearranges the family tree of mammals, pushing their origins back 25 million years.
The find is "the discovery of the decade for understanding the deep history of mammals," evolution expert Zhexi Luo from the University of Chicago said in a comment on the study.
Based on fossil finds, Vintana shared its environment with meat-eating and plant-eating dinosaurs, as well as crocodiles, snakes, giant frogs, lizards, fish and half a dozen bird species.
Its skull, minus lower jaw, was discovered when researchers examined a sandstone block collected in Madagascar in 2010 for its fish fossil content.
"We CT-scanned it here at Stony Brook University in the Department of Radiology and were astounded to see a mammal skull staring back at us on the screen," Krause told AFP.
"It was truly one of those electric moments of palaeontological discovery!"
It took six months to gently extract the skull from the rock so that the precious find could be compared against other fossils and living mammals.
As a tribute to the way in which it was found, Vintana was translated from the Malagasy word for "luck". Its second name comes from Joe Sertich, who collected the specimen.
Vintana was the product of some 20 million years of evolution after Madagascar split from India, to which the island had been connected for 30 million years during Gondwana's breakup.
The animal's lineage, however, eventually disappears.
"It is one of those evolutionary experiments in 'mammalness' that did not make it," said Krause.
Source: AFP

 

arabstoday
arabstoday

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

prehistoric groundhog gets its day prehistoric groundhog gets its day

 



Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

prehistoric groundhog gets its day prehistoric groundhog gets its day

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Jordanian woman reveals her project

GMT 00:46 2017 Saturday ,11 November

Jordanian woman reveals her project
Arab Today, arab today Prince's vision spurs new Cornwall village

GMT 03:12 2017 Saturday ,18 November

Prince's vision spurs new Cornwall village
Arab Today, arab today Keep kids busy at Thanksgiving gatherings

GMT 11:14 2017 Friday ,10 November

Keep kids busy at Thanksgiving gatherings
Arab Today, arab today Israel ready to cooperate with Saudi

GMT 06:31 2017 Friday ,17 November

Israel ready to cooperate with Saudi
Arab Today, arab today Airbnb raided by Japan

GMT 01:55 2017 Saturday ,18 November

Airbnb raided by Japan
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Australian academic's book pulled

GMT 15:20 2017 Monday ,13 November

Australian academic's book pulled
Arab Today, arab today May under Brexit pressure at EU reform summit

GMT 02:14 2017 Saturday ,18 November

May under Brexit pressure at EU reform summit
Arab Today, arab today Delhi half-marathon to go ahead

GMT 03:51 2017 Saturday ,18 November

Delhi half-marathon to go ahead
Arab Today, arab today The history of solar eclipses

GMT 05:16 2017 Sunday ,20 August

The history of solar eclipses
Arab Today, arab today Tesla unveils its all-electric semi truck

GMT 02:59 2017 Saturday ,18 November

Tesla unveils its all-electric semi truck
Arab Today, arab today Baidu speeds up AI progress

GMT 11:46 2017 Friday ,17 November

Baidu speeds up AI progress
Arab Today, arab today Hanan Metawe denies apology for “Major Treason”

GMT 12:22 2017 Thursday ,16 November

Hanan Metawe denies apology for “Major Treason”
Arab Today, arab today paObama climate envoy slams Trump's rejection

GMT 16:04 2017 Friday ,17 November

paObama climate envoy slams Trump's rejection

GMT 08:06 2017 Wednesday ,15 November

Ayten Amer happy for “The Flood” success

GMT 11:15 2017 Thursday ,16 November

Angola oil boss sacked by father's protege

GMT 18:41 2017 Friday ,20 October

Designer Aql Faqih aspires to innovation

GMT 11:38 2017 Wednesday ,15 November

Unloved vultures fight for their survival

GMT 11:49 2017 Thursday ,17 August

Egyptian artist presents new collection of designs

GMT 06:13 2017 Friday ,17 November

Pope denounces healthcare inequality

GMT 05:18 2017 Thursday ,16 November

Boeing announces $27bn from flydubai

GMT 17:12 2017 Monday ,07 August

Al-Shawaifi reveals secrets of total solar eclipse

GMT 16:53 2017 Tuesday ,05 September

Youssra depended on colored foam
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday