Juramaia Sinensis - 160-Million-Year-Old Fossil Pushes Back Mammal Evolution

Wednesday, August 24, 2011 - 16:00 in Paleontology & Archaeology

A fossil discovered in northeast China has pushed back mammal evolution 35 million years and provides new information about the earliest ancestors of most of today's mammal species—the placental mammals. A team of scientists led by Carnegie Museum of Natural History paleontologist Zhe-Xi Luo describes in Nature Juramaia sinensis, a small shrew-like mammal that lived in China 160 million years ago during the Jurassic period. Juramaia is the earliest known fossil of eutherians, the group that evolved to include all placental mammals, which provide nourishment to unborn young via a placenta. read more

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