Fossils of oldest mammal ancestor discovered in UK
Palaeontologists from University of Portsmouth, UK have discovered remains of humankind’s oldest mammal ancestor — a tiny rat-like creature that lived 145 million years ago.
The fossils of nocturnal mammal were discovered on Jurassic Coast of Dorset. The mammal is earliest in line that evolved into humans and branched off into creatures as diverse as blue whales and pigmy shrews.
The new species of fossilized nocturnal mammal was named Durlstotherim newmani after an amateur palaeontologist and pub owner Charlie Newman, who helped scientists collect the new specimens. Its teeth had evolved over time from very simple ones that were not very efficient to molar-like ridged teeth which could tear, chew and grind food very easily. The fossilized teeth as well-evolved as Durlstotherim newmani previously were found only in rock layers from, late Cretaceous between 86 and 66 million years ago.
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