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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Infraclass: Boreosphenida
Luo, Cifelli & Kielan-Jaworowska 2001

Boreosphenida (from boreas, "northern wind" and sphen, "wedge") were early mammals that originated in the Northern Hemisphere and had tribosphenic molars (three-cusped cheek teeth).

In boreosphenidans, the mandibular angle is placed posteriorly and the primitive postdentary trough (hole in the mandible) is absent (in contrast to Kuehneotheriidae, Eupantotheria, and Australosphenida.) They share the tribosphenic molars with the Australosphenida but differ from them by having cingulid cuspules but lacking a continuous mesial cingulid. Boreosphenidans also lack the triangulated trigonid on the last premolar found in Early Cretaceous mammals. They differ from Shuotherium (a monotreme-relative) in having the talonid placed posterior to the trigonid (like in modern tribosphenic mammals) in the lower molars, but upper molars similar to those of Shuotherium.[1]

The oldest boreosphenidans are from the Berriasian (~145-140 mya). They were restricted to the Northern Hemisphere during the Early Cretaceous, but spread to South America and India during the end of the Cretaceous.[1]




  • Luo, Z.-X.; Cifelli, R.L.; Kielan-Jaworowska, Z. (2001). "Dual origins of tribosphenic mammals". Nature 409: 53–57. doi:10.1038/35051023. PMID 11343108.