Paleontologists have found a bed of ancient mammal bones amid the arid scrubland of southern Wyoming. Three of these fossil finds belong to previously unknown species, and all of the animals at the site paint a different picture of mammal evolution following the demise of dinosaurs after the devastating impact of an asteroid 66 years ago. million years ago.
Mammals at the site date back to the earliest volcanoes, in fact hundreds of thousands of years after the asteroid collided with Earth. The three new species Miniconus jeanninaeIn Conacodon Hitinerie, In Bjornos honey; They are all named in part after the paleontologists who excavated them, although the latter is also referred to as Beorn, a figure of by hobbit can pose-turned into a bear. B. Sharpen It is the largest of the three new species, about the size of a cat. The species were distinguished by the lower jaw and teeth.
“Previous studies of North American mammals from the first 320,000 years after the mass extinction found small mammals ranging in size from mice to mice that were somewhat generalized in molar morphology. This helped to understand that mammals always recover and do not diversify quickly after the extinction event. Collectively, ”said Madeleine Atberry, paleontologist at the University of Colorado, in an email. Atberry is the principal author of a New study Description of fossils, published in the Journal of Systematic Paleontology.
“However, the earliest Paleocene fauna of the Great Dividing Basin in Wyoming, where our new mammal species belong, is another story,” Ateberry added. It has more diversity than expected for this time period, indicating that we can’t really generalize about the recovery of mammals after dinosaur extinction. “
The excavation site was excavated between 2001 and 2011 by Jim Honey, Jeannine Honey and Malcolm McKenna, who was appointed by Robert Hettinger of the United States.s. Geologist acknowledgement, whose name was added to the recently described file Conacodon Hitinerie. now immersed in The dry sandstone area was a floodplain during the time of these ancient mammals and was covered with entangled currents and rivers. During a decade of work at the site, paleontologists have found more than 420 mammalian fossils. The number of fossils that ended up in the same spot remains uncertain, although one of the team’s theories is that parts of the river would remove sediment and trap animals (living and dead) that would eventually turn into fossils.
The three new finds are Pieces, an ancient type of mammal that eventually sired its offspring with modern ungulates: animals such as camels, hippos, horses, and rhinos. otbere said: in a report The diversity of these new species illustrates how mammals gradually pushed dinosaurs to extinction, taking advantage of the absence of larger animals to develop new food sources and expand into new environments.
It is likely that more species will be described from fossil deposits – paleontologists have not yet had time to sort through the hundreds of bones that have gathered there. I hope bigger ancient mammals, like Looks like our closest cousins wasted no time getting bigger and bolder Once you take care of the dinosaur masters.
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