Cronopio (mammal)

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Cronopio
Temporal range: Cenomanian
~99.6–96 Ma
Cronopio.png
Restoration
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Superorder: Dryolestoidea
Clade: Meridiolestida
Genus: Cronopio
Rougier et al. 2011
Species:
C. dentiacutus
Binomial name
Cronopio dentiacutus
Rougier et al. 2011

Cronopio is an extinct genus of dryolestoid mammals known from the Río Negro region of Argentina.[1]

Description[edit]

Cronopio is known from the holotype MPCA PV 454, a partial skull which is missing the skull roof, basicranium and squamosals and from the referred specimens MPCA PV 450, a partial left lower jaw with damaged teeth and MPCA PV 453, an incomplete skull with a relatively complete right lower jaw missing some teeth. All specimens were collected in La Buitrera locality, from the Candeleros Formation of the Neuquén Group, dating to the early Cenomanian stage of the early Late Cretaceous, about 99.6-96 million years ago.[1]

Paleontologist Guillermo Rougier commented on the creature's "superficial" resemblance to the fictional character Scrat in the film Ice Age (2002), saying "it just goes to show how diverse ancient mammals are, that we can just imagine some bizarre critter and later find something just like it."[2]

Etymology[edit]

Cronopio was first named by Guillermo W. Rougier, Sebastián Apesteguía and Leandro C. Gaetano in 2011 and the type species is Cronopio dentiacutus. The generic name is named after the fictional characters appearing in the work of Argentinian writer Julio Cortázar.[1][3] The specific name is derived from Latin, meaning "sharp-toothed".[1]

Phylogeny[edit]

Cladogram following the analysis of Rougier, Wible, Beck and Apesteguía (2012):[4]

Dryolestoidea
Dryolestidae

Henkelotherium

Dryolestes

Comotherium

Amblotherium

Laolestes

Groebertherium

Paurodontidae

Foxraptor

Paurodon

Drescheratherium

Meridiolestida

Leonardus

Cronopio

Necrolestes

Mesungulatoidea

Reigitherium

Peligrotherium

Mesungulatum

Coloniatherium

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Guillermo W. Rougier, Sebastián Apesteguía and Leandro C. Gaetano (2011). "Highly specialized mammalian skulls from the Late Cretaceous of South America". Nature. 479 (7371): 98–102. doi:10.1038/nature10591. PMID 22051679.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link) Supplementary information
  2. ^ "Ice Age Reality?", Calgary Sun, November 9, 2011, p. 22.
  3. ^ "Sabre-toothed squirrel scurried at dinosaurs' feet - life - 02 November 2011 - New Scientist". Retrieved 2011-11-04.
  4. ^ Guillermo W. Rougier, John R. Wible, Robin M. D. Beck and Sebastian Apesteguía (2012). "The Miocene mammal Necrolestes demonstrates the survival of a Mesozoic nontherian lineage into the late Cenozoic of South America". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 109 (49): 20053–20058. doi:10.1073/pnas.1212997109. PMC 3523863. PMID 23169652.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)