Navigation Links
Researchers give name to ancient mystery creature

For the first time, researchers at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada have been able to put a name and a description to an ancient mammal that still defies classification.

The findings, published recently in the Journal of Paleontology provide the first and only comprehensive account of the creature, named Horolodectes sunae, for the unusual shape of the crowns of the teeth. Horolodectes lived about 60 million years ago, soon after the dinosaurs went extinct, in a period known for its rapid diversification of small mammals. Based on careful examination of tooth and jaw fragments that have been unearthed over the past 30 years, the University of Alberta researchers have now determined Horolodectes was a small fur-bearing animal that measured 10 centimetres in length and due to its powerful jaws, likely had a strong bite.

Most confounding are the animal's teeth, which resemble in superficial ways, those of primitive relatives of ungulates, the group of mammals which includes horses and cows. But despite that link to ungulates, which are traditionally herbivores, Horolodectes was thought to have dined on small insects and grubs. "It had sharp crests on the teeth which formed blades, indicating it was likely carnivorous," said Craig Scott, a PhD candidate and lead author of the study. Horolodectes means 'hourglass biter', in reference to the creature's peculiar hourglass-shaped pre-molars, the teeth between the canine and the molars. The very tall, sharp pre-molars are unlike any others so far discovered in the mammal world. "There is nothing else with teeth quite like it," Craig said.

"In an area of North America that's been fairly well studied, it's unusual to have a critter like this pop up. It's not known anywhere else, just in Alberta. And it's quite distinct. There's no mistaking it," Scott said.

The first dental specimens of the creature were unearthed by University of Alberta paleontologists 30 years ago from the ba nks of the Blindman River in Alberta, Canada. About 10 years ago, more teeth were discovered at a dig site near Drayton Valley and on the banks of the Blindman. But the creature mystified the researchers, who could not positively identify it, and exactly where it fits into the evolutionary ladder is still unknown. Horolodectes remains an enigma to this day.

"It's just too bizarre to place in any group that we've known about previously," said Scott. "It's an open question until we can find more of it. We have no information from a skull or other parts of the body."


'"/>

Source:University of Alberta


Related biology news :

1. Researchers discover way to make cells in the eye sensitive to light
2. Researchers find how protein allows insects to detect and respond to pheromones
3. Researchers Uncover Key Step In Manufacture of Memory Protein
4. Researchers reveal the infectious impact of salmon farms on wild salmon
5. Researchers identify target for cancer drugs
6. Researchers discover molecule that causes secondary stroke
7. Researchers find missing genes of ancient organism
8. Researchers trace evolution to relatively simple genetic changes
9. Researchers add new tool to tumor-treatment arsenal
10. UF Researchers Map Bacterial Proteins That Cause Tooth Loss
11. VCU Researchers Identify Networks Of Genes Responding To Alcohol In The Brain
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/17/2017)... , April 17, 2017 NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... announces the filing of its 2016 Annual Report on Form 10-K ... Commission. ... 10-K is available in the Investor Relations section of the Company,s ... the SEC,s website at http://www.sec.gov . 2016 Year ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... 11, 2017 No two people are ... the New York University Tandon School of Engineering ... found that partial similarities between prints are common ... mobile phones and other electronic devices can be ... vulnerability lies in the fact that fingerprint-based authentication ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... , April 4, 2017 KEY FINDINGS ... to expand at a CAGR of 25.76% during the ... is the primary factor for the growth of the ... https://www.reportbuyer.com/product/4807905/ MARKET INSIGHTS The global stem ... technology, application, and geography. The stem cell market of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:9/18/2017)... --  Montrium , a growing leader in Electronic Trial Master ... groundbreaking non-profit research organization, Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). ... MAPS Public Benefit ... ... to MDMA for the treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). MAPS ...
(Date:9/14/2017)... West Lafayette, Ind (PRWEB) , ... ... ... part of AMRI’s Global Analytical Services, formally introduces its flexible scientist program ... that offers volume-based, preferred-rate pricing. The FSP, which combines SSCI’s extensive project-based ...
(Date:9/14/2017)... Brisbane, Australia (PRWEB) , ... September 14, 2017 ... ... the first viscoelastic Freedom Lumbar Disc case in Australia. Dr. Steven Yang completed ... radiating pain as a result of a degenerative lumbar disc at level L5-S1. ...
(Date:9/13/2017)... , ... September 13, 2017 , ... ... the life sciences industry to improve patient outcomes and quality of life for ... impurities, has been named a US expert to the International Standards Organization/Technical ...
Breaking Biology Technology: