Platypus lived with dinosaurs


This video is called Probing Platypus Evolution.

From National Geographic:

Platypus Much Older Than Thought, Lived with Dinos

Scott Norris
for National Geographic News

January 22, 2008

Australia’s duck-billed platypus has been around much longer than previously thought, according to a new fossil study that found the egg-laying mammal’s origin traces back to the dinosaur days.

Platypuses and their closest evolutionary relatives, the four echidna species, were thought to have split from a common ancestor sometime in the past 17 million to 65 million years.

But remains of what was believed to be a distant forebear of both the platypus and the echidna—the fossil species Teinolophos—actually belong to an early platypus, according to scientists who performed an x-ray analysis of a Teinolophos jawbone.

The finding means the two animals must have separated sometime earlier than the age of the fossil—at least 112 million years ago.

Outlived the Dinos

The international team, led by Timothy Rowe, of the University of Texas in Austin, used a specially modified CT scanner to capture high-resolution images of the internal structure of a 112.5- to 122-million-year-old Teinolophos jawbone found in southeastern Australia.

The scientists found that the Teinolophos had already developed features thought to be unique to modern platypuses, including an electro-sensitive “bill” for finding aquatic prey.

“This pushes the platypus back across the K-T boundary,” Rowe said, referring to the mass extinction event that wiped out the dinosaurs about 65 million years ago.

“Now it looks like [platypuses] crossed the boundary without any problem.”

The study appears in today’s edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

This video is called Evolution and the platypus.

Reintroduced platypus thriving in Melbourne suburbs: here. Platypus twins boost to drought hit species: here.

3 thoughts on “Platypus lived with dinosaurs

  1. Pingback: ‘Extinct’ Australian echidna still living? | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Giant platypus fossil discovery in Australia | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Australian echidnas’ spurs, new research | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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