[Taxacom] Two primitive mammals in one week

Ken Kinman kinman at hotmail.com
Thu Dec 14 20:48:27 CST 2006

Dear All,
     Not one, but two, primitive mammals described in one week!!!  One was 
Volaticotherium, described in today's issue of Nature and formally assigned 
to a new Order of mammals.  That Mesozoic mammal is particularly interesting 
ecologically as it is by far the earliest known gliding mammal (the patagium 
is preserved).

     The other is particularly interesting biogeographically (as well as 
ecologically), being a non-volant mammal from the Miocene of New Zealand.  
It also is a primitive mammal, splitting off not far from multituberculates, 
so it too has its origins in the Mesozoic.  Was it climate change that 
forced such mammals into extinction in New Zealand, or what it something 
else?  Here's a link to the PNAS article on the New Zealand mammal:


             Ken Kinman

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