This video is called The Fossil Record: intermediate forms are abundant!
‘Creationists argue that there is a lack of intermediate forms in the Fossil Record. As Miller explains in this video, this could not be further from the truth. In fact, there are so many of them that paleontologists are arguing over what to define them as. (When a fossil is a transitional form between reptile and mammal, what should it be called?)’.
From Shanghai Daily in China:
Chinese and German paleontologists announced yesterday that they have discovered 17 fossil teeth of a new mammal genus that lived 160 million years ago in northwest China’s Xinjiang region.
The fossil mammal teeth were found in 2003 in the Upper Jurassic strata (about 160 million years ago) in the Liuhuanggou area, west of Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang, by German and Chinese researchers.
Thomas Martin, a professor of paleontology of the University of Bonn in Germany, said: “It is the first time to discover the fossil new taxa of the docodont mammal in the world.”
The fossil mammal named ‘Dsungarodon zuoi’, was smaller in size with a total length of the head and body of only five to seven centimeters, as compared with large modern mammals, the professor said at a geological and environmental change forum held in Urumqi yesterday.
Scientists say the mini-size of the mammal was probably because that they lived in an area of gigantic dinosaurs and they had to run freely and reduce the living space as much as possible for survival.
The lower molar teeth of the mammal have a distinctive ‘pseudo talonid’ used to grind food, reflecting a special line of evolution for the Asian mammals, Martin said.
Research showed that the mammal’s food included plants and insects, he said.
From History News Network:
A fossil of a prehistoric mammal discovered in northeastern China may help scientists figure out how the delicate hearing organs in mammals developed, an article authored by a team of Chinese and American scientists reports in the latest issue of Science.
Carnegie Museum of Natural History curator Dr. Zhe-Xi Luo was part of the team of paleontologists that studied the small, squirrel-like mammal, termed Maotherium asiaticus, and he co-authored the Science report, which appears in the issue on newsstands tomorrow and is on the publication’s Web site today.
Dr. Luo said paleontologists are especially interested in the development of the modern mammal ear because sensitive hearing is likely what helped mammals survive and diversify.
Prehistoric fossils discovered in China show that tiny creatures resembling moles and monkeys lived in trees and below ground as dinosaurs roamed the earth. Agilodocodon scansorius (“Agile tree-climbing docodont”) and Docofossor brachydactylus (“short-fingered burrowing docodont”) are the oldest known tree-dwelling and burrowing mammaliaforms, respectively. As mammaliaforms, they were not quite true mammals but very closely related. The two species belong to a group of mammal-relatives called Docodonts, animals that lived alongside dinosaurs during the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. They were both discovered in China, in deposits dated to around 160 million years ago: here.
Pterosaur of the Day – Dsungaripterus: here.