According to a paper recently published by the British journal Nature, american scientists have discovered a complete mammalian skeleton of the “super continent. This skeleton is the first nearly complete skeleton of Gondwana beast. This discovery brings clues to understand the evolution of early mammals.
Gondwana’s Mesozoic (0.252 billion -65 million years ago) mammal fossil record is far less than the northern super continent lauya ancient continent. Gondwana has a group of mammals called Gondwana, which were animals that once lived in the ancient southern “super continent”. Previously, people only found their scattered jaws, teeth and a skull.
This time, David Karsh, a scientist at the Museum of Natural Science in Denver, USA, and his colleagues described the latest discovery of the most complete skeleton of mammals from the Mesozoic Gondwana. It represents a new species, and the research team named it adamatherium hui-the word comes from Madagascar’s “crazy” and Greek’s “Beast”.
This skeleton includes a large number of body vertebrae and a short and wide coccyx, and also retains small bone and cartilage tissue. Although this specimen represents a minor individual-weighing an estimated 3.1 kilograms, it belongs to the largest known lactation form from the Mesozoic Gondwana. This may reflect the vastness of isolated evolution of species, as the most obvious and quantifiable impact of island evolution is found to be related to body size.
The research team analyzed the evolutionary relationship between this new species and other species, and placed it in a position close to the polyodontoid, a mammal similar to a rodent, mainly from the northern continent. The new species discovered this time have complete skeletons and survive in the isolated island environment of Madagascar, which provides an opportunity to study how Mesozoic mammals evolved in isolated environments.