Saber-toothed squirrel, the most memorable characters from the animated film "Ice Age", there really is. In South America, archaeologists have unearthed the fossilized fragments of skeletons of animals, which in appearance could remind all beloved hero. This incredible discovery will help unravel the mystery of the first introduction of mammals.
During large-scale excavations in northern Patagonia — in the Argentine province of Rio Negro — a professor of anatomy and the University of Louisville nevrobiologii Guillermo Roger found an unusual skull. He was firmly imbedded in the rock, whose age is 100 million years. After painstaking laboratory work skull managed to extract.
"What struck me most, so it is perfectly preserved. Usually we find only small teeth or bone fragments belonging to this period of the Late Cretaceous. All that we know about prehistoric mammals, we find in the mouth, because the enamel is less exposed to destruction. Here Yet we have a skull that can tell a lot about appearance, and behavior of the oldest family of animals, "- shared his impressions of Roger.
Small animal, which they named Croponio dentiacutus, was only 10 — 15 cm in length and fed mainly insects. He had an elongated and slightly flattened at the sides face and long fangs, for which he received such a name. Habitat of primitive proteins were overgrown banks of ancient rivers.
It should be noted that in its structure Croponio with other representatives of this group who inhabited the prehistoric continent of Gondwana and Laurasia. It turns out in South America 100 million years ago there own special fauna and often strange how this protein animals.
"Quite frankly, this time for us, as a white spot on the map, with little notice. Exact time of occurrence of mammals has not yet been established. Some say that in the Triassic, 220 million years ago, lived warm-blooded animals, while others believe that they have spread over the earth after the extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. now, we already have some kind of starting point. So it is easier to trace the ancestry of mammals, including the first people, "- said the find an American paleontologist.
World of ancient animals never ceases to amaze with the variety. For example, recently, scientists from the U.S., Mark McMenamin said the giant monsters, like the mythical Kraken monster could live in the oceans millions of years ago. These ancestors of octopuses easily dealt with ichthyosaurs, which are still considered the largest living things in the history of the Earth.
And in New Mexico, found the remains of a toothy creature that lived 205 million years ago, which was a change blunt short snout, large eyes and long front teeth with a large angle, and the size was no more than a large dog.