Planetetherium

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Planetetherium
Temporal range: Latest Paleocene
Fossil
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Dermoptera
Family: Plagiomenidae
Genus: Planetetherium
Simpson, 1928
Species: P. mirabile
Binomial name
Planetetherium mirabile
Simpson, 1928

Planetetherium is an extinct genus of herbivorous gliding mammal (like Colugo) endemic to North America during the Paleogene living from 56.8—55.4 mya, existing for approximately 1.4 million years.[1]

Fossils have been discovered in strata formed from ancient cypress forests, suggesting that this was the animal's preferred habitat.

Morphology[edit]

Plantetherium measured around 25 centimetres (10 in) in length, and its skeleton closely resembled that of its modern relatives. Its teeth already included the comb-like structure distinctive to modern colugos. There is no direct evidence that Planetetherium had the membrane of skin that allows modern colugos to glide, but its bodily proportions suggests that this was likely the case.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ PaleoBiology Database: Planetetherium, basic info
  2. ^ Palmer, D., ed. (1999). The Marshall Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals. London: Marshall Editions. p. 210. ISBN 1-84028-152-9.