From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Cimolesta
Suborder: Apatotheria
Family: Apatemyidae

Apatemyidae is an extinct family of placental mammals that took part in the first placental evolutionary radiation together with other early mammals such as the leptictids.

Common in North America during the Paleocene, they are also represented in Europe by the genus Jepsenella.[1]

Apatemyids in life[edit]

Like most Paleocene mammals, the Apatemyds were small and presumably insectivorous. Size ranged from that of a doormouse to a large rat. The toes were slender and well clawed, and the family were probably mainly arboreal.[2] The skull was fairly massive compared to the otherwise slender skeleton, and the front teeth were long and hooked, resembling those of the modern aye-aye and marsupial Dactylopsila, both whom make their living by gnawing off bark with their front teeth to get at grubs and maggots beneath.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Agusti, Jordi; Anton, Mauricio (2002). Mammoths, Sabertooths, and Hominids: 65 Million Years of Mammalian Evolution in Europe. Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-11640-3. 
  2. ^ Messel : ein Pompeji der Paläontologie. Sigmaringen: Thorbecke. 1998. ISBN 3799590838. 
  3. ^ Koenigswald, W. v.; Schierning, H.-P. (9 April 1987). "The ecological niche of an extinct group of mammals, the early Tertiary apatemyids". Nature 326 (6113): 595–597. doi:10.1038/326595a0.