Bridging a Gap pt. 2

20 March 2007

 

Yanoconodon sips from the pool of 10,000 spirits.

Yanoconodon was a modest Mesozoic mammal, shunning the flashy lifestyles of the late Jurassic(?) glider Volaticotherium or the paramammalian faux beaver Castorocauda. She stuck to a more respectable station, scurrying among the underbrush, shearing up earthworms with her utilitarian triconodont teeth.

 

 

 

But just adjacent to those worm-slicer teeth, her transitional jaw cheekily foreshadows the whole great microossicle revolution. Then, deep in her abdomen she brashly blurs the line between reptile thorax and mammal lumbar, sporting ribs where they don’t belong. Snap. Mosaic evolution rides again.

 

Pharyngula’s account is blogothoritative.

 

Original abstract: Luo et al. 2006

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