Kopidodon

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Kopidodon
Temporal range: Early Eocene
Kopidodon macrognathus - Naturmuseum Senckenberg - DSC02247.JPG
Kopidodon macrognathus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Cimolesta
Suborder: Pantolesta
Family: Paroxyclaenidae
Subfamily: Paroxyclaeninae
Genus: Kopidodon
Species: K. macrognathus
Binomial name
Kopidodon macrognathus
(Wittich, 1902)

Kopidodon is a genus of extinct squirrel-like mammals belonging to the order Cimolesta. Kopidodon was one of the largest tree-dwelling mammals known from Eocene Europe: growing 115 centimeters long (most of that length is tail). This mammal sported fearsome canine teeth, probably for defense. However its molars were designed for chewing plants, not flesh. Its legs and claws allowed Kopidodon to scramble through the trees with the greatest of ease, much like modern-day squirrels. Its fossils were found in the Messel pit, preserving even its fur. We know that like a giant squirrel, Kopidodon had a thick bushy tail for balance.

Artist's reconstruction