In Pursuit of Early Mammals
Publication Year: 2013
In Pursuit of Early Mammals presents the history of the mammals that lived during the Mesozoic era, the time when dinosaurs ruled the Earth, and describes their origins, anatomy, systematics, paleobiology, and distribution. It also tells the story of the author, a world-renowned specialist on these animals, and the other prominent paleontologists who have studied them. Zofia Kielan-Jaworowska was the first woman to lead large-scale paleontological expeditions, including eight to the Gobi Desert in Mongolia, which brought back important collections of dinosaur, early mammal, and other fossils. She shares the difficulties and pleasures encountered in finding rare fossils and describes the changing views on early mammals made possible by these discoveries.
Published by: Indiana University Press
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...years ago, modern mammals—that is to say, marsupials, placentals, and monotremes—have become conspicuous, diverse elements of Earth’s biota. But the family tree that includes mammals and their nearest rela-tives (mammaliaforms, in technical parlance) is far more deeply rooted in time, extending back to perhaps 220 million years ago. Clearly, then, ...
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...through the eyes of people studying them, including myself and the col-leagues with whom I had a chance to work over the years. The Mesozoic Era was the time when dinosaurs ruled the earth. Mammals living with them were mostly small, and it seemed for a long time that they did not play an important role in Mesozoic faunas. But in recent decades our ...
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...have had the opportunity to collaborate with numerous eminent scien-tists, many of whom have now passed away. From my late colleagues, friends, and teachers, I learned much and enjoyed our cooperation. They are (in alphabetic order): Demberlyin Dashzeveg, Antoni Bolesław Dobrowolski, Beverly Halstead, Karen Hiiemae, Farish A. Jenkins, Anna ...
List of Institutional Abbreviations
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...the Mesozoic era; see figure 1.0), which encompasses 160 million years (Ma), or more than two-thirds of all mammalian history, was for a long time poorly known, with intriguing mysteries surrounding their origins and the relations among the different groups. Among the first to sort through this history was George Gaylord Simpson. In his first monograph ...
2. Methods: Collecting Materials and Establishing Relationships
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...tologists thought that Mesozoic mammals were small, rare, and poorly differentiated creatures represented by primitive groups. Intensification of search for Mesozoic mammals all around the world, however, changed this opinion. The great impact on this increase of specimens and stud-ies on fossil vertebrates in the second half of the twentieth century was ...
3. Paleontological Exploration of Mongolia by American, Japanese, Soviet, and Russian Expeditions, including the Mongolian Academy/ American Museum and Mongolia/Japan Joint Expeditions
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...3Paleontological Exploration of Mongolia by American, Japanese, Soviet, and investigations had become fairly advanced in the United States and in various parts of Europe. At that time the problem of the place of origin of placental mammals was widely discussed. Rich placental faunas were known from Paleocene deposits, but no single placental mammal had ...
4. The Polish-Mongolian Paleontological Expeditions, 1963–1971, and the Nomadic Expedition, 2002
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...4The Polish-Mongolian Paleontological Expeditions, 1963–1971, and the course of the Polish-Mongolian Paleontological Expeditions we collected skeletons of dinosaurs that were coeval with early mammals, and we spent a lot of time and effort in their excavation and later on in their study. These giant skeletons are obviously much more spectacular than those ...
5. Origins of Mammals and the Earliest Representatives of Mammaliaforms and Mammals
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...brates, mammals did not appear until quite late, some 225 million years ago. Although the first Mesozoic mammal was discovered as early as 1764 in England, its significance was not understood until more than 100 years later, in 1871, when Sir Richard Owen (1804–1892) published his great opus, the “Monograph of the Fossil Mammalia in the Mesozoic Forma-...
6. Haramiyidans and Probable Related Forms
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...with a single species, M. antiquus, based on a minute, double-rooted tooth boasting two rows of cusps. It derived from the Upper Triassic beds (Norian-Rhaetian boundary) of Dagerlof, Württemberg, Germany. The name Microlestes was already occupied, as were other names sub-sequently erected to replace it, and it was later assigned to Thomasia...
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...mostly mole size or even smaller, of Middle to Late Jurassic age. An exception with respect to size is the Middle Jurassic Castorocauda lutra-similis, with a skull that measures 6 cm and a body about 42 cm long (Ji, Reigitherium from the Late Cretaceous of the Los Alamitos and La Colonia Formations of Patagonia, South America, has been assigned to ...
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...odont mammals” were first used in the nineteenth century even before the formal taxon Triconodonta was proposed by Osborn (1888). Osborn assigned to Triconodonta all mammals in which the main three cusps on the molars were aligned from front to back on the tooth crown. Such teeth were known at that time mainly from the Middle and Late Juras-...
9. Monotremes and the Issue of Australosphenida and Tribosphenida
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...about a strange animal from Australia– the platypus– reached the Euro-pean zoological community (figure 9.1A). In August 1798, Captain John Hunter, the governor of the penal colony at Sydney, sent a skin of the platypus to the Literary and Philosophical Society of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, of which he was a member. He described it as a small amphibious ...
10. Multituberculates and Gondwanatherians
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...dents of the Mesozoic” because of their superficial similarity to rodents, especially in the structure of the lower jaw and the arrangement of the dentition. Omnivorous or herbivorous, as today’s rodents are, they likely occupied similar ecological niches. Most multituberculates were small, of shrew or rat size, with the exception of the Cretaceous Bubodens and ...
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...mammal jaws with teeth, both upper and lower, as well as the isolated molar teeth of the same type. These teeth differ from those of cynodonts and from the primitive mammals earlier referred to as “triconodontans” (now assigned to morganucodontans and eutriconodontans; see chapter 5) in that they have three main cusps arranged not anteroposteriorly but ...
12. “Eupantotherians” and the Origin of Tribosphenic and Pseudotribosphenic Molars
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...mals of the Mesozoic, intermediate between the “symmetrodontans” and the tribosphenidans. The term “Eupantotheria” has a long history. Marsh (1880) erected the order Pantotheria, and in a later paper (1887), he included four families: the Dryolestidae, Paurodontidae, Diplocyn-odontidae (now assigned to the Docodonta), and Dromatheriidae (now ...
13. Tribotheria, Metatheria, and the Issue of the Deltatheroida
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...lia) and Eutheria (including Placentalia) had tribosphenic molars. In addition, there are isolated tribosphenic molars in Early and Late Cre-taceous rocks that, because of the incompleteness of the data, cannot be assigned to either Metatheria or Eutheria. Patterson (1956) described Early Cretaceous (Albian) isolated tribosphenic molars from Texas, nam-...
14. Eutherian and Placental Mammals
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...division of Placentalia into lower rank taxonomic units were for a long time debated. Gill (1872) grouped both marsupials and placentals into the Eutheria, Huxley (1880) limited the scope of Eutheria to Placentalia, and some authors treated Placentalia and Eutheria as synonyms (e.g., Simpson 1945; Kemp 2005). However, most present authors (for example, ...
15. Aspects of Paleobiology of Mammaliaforms and Early Mammals
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...papers that clearly show that Mesozoic mammaliaforms and mammals were much more diversified than had been previously thought. Luo (2007a, b), in his excellent reviews of Mesozoic mammal diversification, recognized five “experiments.” In the evolutionary path of early mam-mals, Luo demonstrated the convergence of new “experiments” with ...
16. Diversification of Mammaliaforms and Mesozoic Mammals: A Summary
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Mesozoic era, along with information on people working on them. I offer also several new life reconstructions of non-mammalian mamma-liaforms and early mammals. In the nineteenth and first half of the twentieth centuries, when early mammals were known mostly from iso-lated teeth– rarely with jaw fragments– such teeth were identified as ...
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Page Count: 272
Illustrations: 7 color illus., 71 b&w illus.
Publication Year: 2013
Series Title: Life of the Past