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Temporal range: Late Cretaceous
|Reconstruction of Alphadon sp.|
Alphadon (meaning "first tooth") was a genus of small, primitive mammal that was a member of the metatherians, a group of mammals that includes modern-day marsupials. Its fossils were first discovered and named by George Gaylord Simpson in 1929.
Not much is known about the appearance of Alphadon, as it is only known from teeth. It probably grew to about 12 in (30 cm) and may have resembled a modern opossum. Judging from its teeth, it was likely an omnivore, feeding on fruits, invertebrates and possibly small vertebrates.
Taxonomy and classification
- Haaramo, Mikko (August 2003). "Alphadontidae". Mikko's Phylogeny Archive.
- "Dinosaur and Paleontology Dictionary". Enchanted Learning. 2010.
- Jehle, Martin (August 2005). "Marsupials: A southern success story". Paleocene mammals of the world.
- Thomas E. Williamson; Stephen L. Brusatte; Thomas D. Carr; Anne Weil; Barbara R. Standhardt (2012). "The phylogeny and evolution of Cretaceous–Palaeogene metatherians: cladistic analysis and description of new early Palaeocene specimens from the Nacimiento Formation, New Mexico". Journal of Systematic Palaeontology. 10 (4): 625–651. doi:10.1080/14772019.2011.631592.
- Guillermo W. Rougier; Brian M. Davis; Michael J. Novacek (2015). "A deltatheroidan mammal from the Upper Cretaceous Baynshiree Formation, eastern Mongolia". Cretaceous Research. 52, Part A: 167–177. doi:10.1016/j.cretres.2014.09.009.
- S. Bi, X. Jin, S. Li and T. Du. 2015. A new Cretaceous metatherian mammal from Henan, China. PeerJ 3:e896
- Wilson, G.P.; Ekdale, E.G.; Hoganson, J.W.; Calede, J.J.; Linden, A.V. (2016). "A large carnivorous mammal from the Late Cretaceous and the North American origin of marsupials". Nature Communications. 7. doi:10.1038/ncomms13734.