Tuesday, March 6, 2012

[Paleontology • 2007] Yanoconodon allini • A new eutriconodont mammal and evolutionary development in early mammals

Artist's representation of Yanocondon allini, a Mesozoic mammal fossil found in China. 
Courtesy Nicolle Rager Fuller, National Science Foundation.

Class Mammalia
Order Eutriconodonta  
Family Jeholodentidae (nov.)
Yanoconodon allini gen. et sp. nov.

Etymology. Yan is for the Yan mountains in Northern Hebei Province; conodon is Latin for 'cuspate tooth', a common suffix for mammalian taxonomic names; allini refers to Edgar Allin's studies on mammalian ear evolution.

Holotype. Nanjing University - Paleontology Laboratory NJU-P 06001, preserved on a slab (NJU-P06001A, shown in Fig. 1) and counter-slab (NJU-P06001B, shown in the Supplementary Information) of laminated siltstones.

Figure 1: New mammal Yanoconodon allini. a, Main part of the holotype b, Skeletal restoration

Figure 2: Relationship of Yanoconodon allini.
Analysis of all dental and skeletal characters of Yanoconodon places it as a close relative of Jeholodens, in the Jeholodentidae among eutriconodontans.

Luo, Z., Chen, P., Li, G., & Chen, M. 2007. A new eutriconodont mammal and evolutionary development in early mammals. Nature. Vol 446, doi:10.1038/nature05627

Let's hear it for the new Mesozoic mammal!: