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Temporal range: Campanian-Miocene, 70.6–17.5 Ma
Sudamerica jaw.svg
Mandible of Sudamerica
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Clade: Synapsida
Class: Mammalia
Subclass: Theriiformes
Infraclass: Allotheria
Suborder: Gondwanatheria
Mones, 1987

Gondwanatheria is an extinct group of mammals that lived during the Upper Cretaceous through the Miocene in the Southern Hemisphere, including Antarctica. They are known only from isolated teeth, a few lower jaws, two partial skulls and one complete cranium.[3] Because of this fragmentary knowledge their placement is not clear.


For several decades the affinities of the group were not clear, being first interpreted as early xenarthrans, or "toothless" mammals similar to the modern anteater. A variety of studies have since confirmed their position as allotheres related to multituberculates, possibly even true multituberculates, closer to cimolodonts than "plagiaulacidans" are.[1][4][5][6]

There are three known families within Gondwanatheria. The family Sudamericidae was named by Scillato-Yané and Pascual in 1984, and includes the vast majority of named taxa. The family Ferugliotheriidae was named by José Bonaparte in 1986, and includes one genus, Ferugliotherium, and possibly a few other forms like Trapalcotherium. Groeberiidae, originally interpreted as paucituberculate marsupials, has since been understood as gondwanatherians, though only the type genus, Groeberia, has been examined as such.[1]

Gondwanatheria cladogram per Chimento et al 2015.

Further fossils have come from India, Madagascar and Antarctica. A possible Ferugliotherium-like species occurs in Maastrichtian deposits of Mexico, extending the clade to North America.[7]

The Miocene (Colhuehuapian) genus Patagonia is the youngest known representative.[1]


Order †Gondwanatheria[8][9] McKenna 1971 [Gondwanatheroidea Krause & Bonaparte 1993]


  1. ^ a b c d Nicolás R. Chimento, Federico L. Agnolin and Fernando E. Novas (2015). "The bizarre 'metatherians' Groeberia and Patagonia, late surviving members of gondwanatherian mammals". Historical Biology: An International Journal of Paleobiology. 27 (5): 603–623. doi:10.1080/08912963.2014.903945. 
  2. ^ Francisco J. Goin, Marcelo F. Tejedor, Laura Chornogubsky, Guillermo M. López, Javier N. Gelfo, Mariano Bond, Michael O. Woodburne, Yamila Gurovich, Marcelo Reguero (2012). "Persistence of a Mesozoic, non-therian mammalian lineage (Gondwanatheria) in the mid-Paleogene of Patagonia". Naturwissenschaften. 99 (6): 449–463. doi:10.1007/s00114-012-0919-z. 
  3. ^ Kraus, David W. (2014). Vintana Sertichi (Mammalia, Gondwanatheria) from the Late Cretaceous of Madagascar. [Lincoln, NE]: Society of Vertebrate Paleontology. pp. 1–2. 
  4. ^ Krause, David W.; Hoffmann, Simone; Wible, John R.; Kirk, E. Christopher; Schultz, Julia A.; von Koenigswald, Wighart; Groenke, Joseph R.; Rossie, James B. (2014-11-05). O'Connor, Patrick M., Seiffert, Erik R., Dumont, Elizabeth R., Holloway, Waymon L., Rogers, Raymond R., Rahantarisoa, Lydia J., Kemp, Addison D., Andriamialison, Haingoson. "First cranial remains of a gondwanatherian mammal reveal remarkable mosaicism". Nature. Nature Publishing Group, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited. online: 512–517. doi:10.1038/nature13922. ISSN 1476-4687. 
  5. ^ Drake, Nadia (November 5, 2014). "Fossil From Dinosaur Era Reveals Big Mammal With Super Senses". nationalgeographic.com. National Geographic Society. Retrieved November 5, 2014. 
  6. ^ Wilford, John Noble (November 5, 2014). "Fossil's Unusual Size and Location Offer Clues in Evolution of Mammals". New York Times. Retrieved November 6, 2014. 
  7. ^ SVP 2015
  8. ^ Mikko's Phylogeny Archive [1] Haaramo, Mikko (2007). "†Gondwanatheria – gondwanatheres". Retrieved 30 December 2015. 
  9. ^ Paleofile.com (net, info) [2]. "Taxonomic lists- Mammals". Retrieved 30 December 2015. 

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