Zalambdalestes

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Zalambdalestes
Temporal range: Late Cretaceous
Zalambdalestes lechei.jpg
Zalambdalestes lechei skull and lower jaw, Museum of Evolution Warsaw.
Scientific classification
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Zalambdalestes

Species
  • Z. lechei Gregory & Simpson, 1926 (type)

Zalambdalestes (meaning much-like-lambda robber) was a eutherian mammal, most likely not a placental due to the presence of an epipubic bone,[1][2] living during the Upper Cretaceous in Mongolia.

Life restoration of Z. lechei

Zalambdalestes was a hopping animal with a long snout, long teeth, a small brain and large eyes. It was about 20 centimetres (7.9 in) long, with a head only 5 centimetres (2 in) long. It had strong front paws and even stronger rear ones, sharing specializations to saltation similar to those of modern rabbits.[3][4]

Its diet was probably composed mainly of insects that it hunted in the forest undergrowth using its sharp, interlocking teeth.[5] Unlike modern placental mammals, Zalambdalestes had an epipubic bone, meaning it was probably restricted reproductively in the same way as modern monotremes and marsupials.[6]

Life reconstruction of Z. lechei

References[edit]

  • Parker, Steve. Dinosaurs: the complete guide to dinosaurs. Firefly Books Inc, 2003. Pg. 402
  1. ^ Dykes, Kevin T. "Mesozoic Mammals; Zalambdalestidae, Lipotyphla?, Cimolestidae and Cretaceous Taeniodonta". Mesozoic Eucynodonts. Archived from the original on March 4, 2006.
  2. ^ Kenneth D. Rose, J. David Archibald, The Rise of Placental Mammals: Origins and Relationships of the Major Extant Clades, JHU Press, 22/02/2005
  3. ^ Kenneth D. Rose, J. David Archibald, The Rise of Placental Mammals: Origins and Relationships of the Major Extant Clades, JHU Press, 22/02/2005
  4. ^ Meng Chen, Gregory Philip Wilson, A multivariate approach to infer locomotor modes in Mesozoic mammals, Article in Paleobiology 41(02) · February 2015 doi:10.1017/pab.2014.14
  5. ^ Palmer, D., ed. (1999). The Marshall Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals. London: Marshall Editions. p. 201. ISBN 1-84028-152-9.
  6. ^ Kenneth D. Rose, J. David Archibald, The Rise of Placental Mammals: Origins and Relationships of the Major Extant Clades, JHU Press, 22/02/2005

Further reading[edit]