Taeniolabidoidea

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Taeniolabidoidea
Temporal range: Late Cretaceous - Paleocene
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Class: Mammaliformes
Order: Multituberculata
Superfamily: Taeniolabidoidea
Family: Taeniolabididae
Genera

Catopsalis
Lambdopsalis
Prionessus
Sphenopsalis
Taeniolabis

Taeniolabidoidea is a group of extinct mammals known from North America and Asia. They were the largest members of the also extinct order Multituberculata. Lambdopsalis even provides direct fossil evidence of mammalian fur in a fairly good state of preservation for a 60-million-year-old animal. Some of these animals were large for their time; Taeniolabis taoensis is the largest known Multituberculate. Average members of the Taeniolaboidea were about beaver-size and presumably beaver-heavy, up to about 30 kilograms.

The group was initially established as a suborder, before being assigned the rank of a superfamily by McKenna and Bell in 1997 (see Kielan-Jaworowska and Hurum (2001) p. 391-392). It's now strictly limited to the family Taeniolabididae. Some of the fossils are well-preserved. Catopsalis is known from the Upper Cretaceous of Canada, though the family is best represented in Paleocene strata.

Derived characteristics of the taxon (apomorphies) include: "snout short and wide with anterior part of zygomatic arches directed transversely, resulting in a square-like shape of the skull (shared with Kogaionidae); frontals small, pointed posteriorly, almost or completely excluded from the orbital rim," (Kielan-Jaworowska and Hurum 2001, p. 417).

References[edit]

  • Kielan-Jaworowska Z. and Hurum J.H., "Phylogeny and Systematics of multituberculate mammals". Paleontology 44, p. 389-429, 2001.
  • McKenna M.C. and Bell S.K., (1997), Classification of Mammals Above the Species Level. Columbia University Press, 1997.
  • Much of this information has been derived from [1] MESOZOIC MAMMALS: Eucosmodontidae, Microcosmodontidae and Taeniolabidoidea, an Internet directory.