A giant fanged mammal that lived in & # 39; the time of & # 39; e dinosaurs, discovered by archaeologists in Madagascar – and they have the & # 39; Crazy Beast & # 39; called.
The two-foot-long seven-pound creature had three enormous curved fangs in front, an unusually short, blunt tail and holes in his face – it lived 66 million years ago.
Researchers at Stony Brook University said the badger-like mammal – named Adalatherium – lived among carnivorous theropod dinosaurs and giant crocodiles.
Although it looks like a badger on the outside, the agreement is only skin deep, researchers say, adding that it & # 39; breaking some of the known rules of evolution & # 39;
This is partly due to & # 39; s incredibly sensitive whiskers, unusually large catches and the fact that it is larger than expected for a mammal at that time.
Scroll down for video
Life-like reconstruction of Adalatherium from the Late Cretaceous of Madagascar. It is a giant captive mammal that lived in & # 39; the time of & # 39; e dinosaurs, discovered by archaeologists in Madagascar – and they have the & # 39; Crazy Beast & # 39; called.
Adalatherium was able to shed light on how mammals survived – and went according to the researchers, according to investigators, to those who claimed it was killed in an earthquake.
This meant that it was buried under layers of mud and that the remains of it were preserved – it is the first complete fossil found from Gondwana – the southern half of Pangea.
This was shortly before a space in urban size invented the largest landscape creatures to run the Earth – the dinosaurs.
Lead author Professor David Krause said it's hard to imagine how a mammal like Adalatherium could develop among so many carnivorous creatures.
He said & # 39; it bends and breaks even a lot of rules & # 39; known about evolution – the remote location explains the size of Adalatherium compared to other rodents.
To put it into perspective, a modern brown rod tipped the scales at seven ounces – and measuring less than 12 inches – Adalatherium was 2ft and 7lbs.
Exposed to lesser predators, small animals such as rodents grow larger – a phenomenon called & # 39; island giantism & # 39 ;.
Adalatherium is the first almost complete fossil of a mammal from Gondwana – the southern half of the ancient supercontinent of Pangea.
The rodent like mammal lived about 70 million years ago – about 20 million years after Madagascar split from the Indian subcontinent and the Seychelles.
This provided & # 39; enough time to develop its many fun features & # 39 ;, Prof Krause said.
Adalatherium, described in & # 39; nature, may have looked like a run-of-the-mill badger, but the skeleton is & # 39; foreign & # 39 ;, he said.
It had holes in the face that served as passages for nerves and blood vessels – providing a highly sensitive cut covered with whiskers.
One at the top is very large, where there is no parallel in another known mammal – living as extinct.
The backbone had more vertebrae than any mammal of & # 39; time and one of & # 39; e leg of her legs was strangely curved.
Most mammals that lived next to dinosaurs were much smaller – mouse size on average – because it was easier to escape from giant beasts.
Adalatherium was very different from other mammals and even & # 39; breaks some of & # 39; e rules & # 39; of evolution
Adalatherium breaks some of the well-known rules of evolution, experts say.
On the surface, it looks like a modern badger – but this changes when you look under the skin.
Below the surface, its skeleton is nothing short of & # 39; foreign & # 39 ;.
It has primitive features in its snout region that had not been seen for hundreds of millions of years in a strain that does not lead to modern mammals.
Adalatherium had more holes on his face than one known mammal.
The holes serve as passages for nerves and blood vessels that provide a highly sensitive snout that was covered with mustache.
There is one very large hole on the top of the & # 39; a snout, for which there is simply no parallel in a known mammal.
The teeth of Adalatherium are very different in construction than any known mammal.
The backbone had more vertebrae than any Mesozoic mammal and one of its legs was strangely curved.
About the size of a Virginia opossum, Adalatherium was also unusual, because it was very large for her day.
The total fossil found in Madagascar was 2ft and 7lbs.
Krause, a paleontologist at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Colorado, said: & # 39; The front teeth – two to & # 39; e top and one on the bottom – were very large and had enamel on one side.
& # 39; We believe they were used for knees and the back teeth for cutting vegetation of one kind or another – in other words, Adalatherium was probably a planteter.
& # 39; Based on its large skull, we think it was probably an engraver – and it made possible hollows.
& # 39; This is indicated by some badger-like features – powerful hind legs and a short, blunt tail. & # 39;
It lived in difficult times – with long dry seasons alternated with monks causing land degradation and burying everything in sight.
& # 39; This resulted in & # 39; & # 39; Burial of the skeleton of Adalatherium, shortly after death or perhaps even while it was still alive – as indicated by the tight articulation and beautiful preservation of the skeleton, & # 39; Krause said.
Adalatherium belonged to a group known as the Gondwanatheria and so far only isolated jaws, teeth and a single skull were found.
& # 39; It represents a new species called Adalatherium hui – Adala is a Malay word that & # 39; crazy & # 39; means and therium is Greek for & # 39; beast & # 39;, & # 39; said Krause.
It & # 39; amazingly well kept & # 39; skeleton belonged to a youth. It includes a large number of vertebrae, including its ribs, and a short, broad tail.
Prof Krause added: & # 39; It was over 20 inches long and had a body mass of 6.8 lbs. But it was a sub-adult. It would have been longer and heavier than fully grown. & # 39;
& # 39; This may reflect giganticism as a result of & # 39; e evolution of & # 39; e species & # 39; in isolation. & # 39;
View of plaster coat with skeleton of Adalatherium that is carried from excavation site to road. Writer David Krause on the left. It & # 39; amazingly well kept & # 39; skeleton belonged to a youth. It includes a large number of vertebrae, including its ribs, and a short, wide tail
An analysis of evolutionary relationships with other species placed the new species close to an extinct group called multituberculates.
These were rodent-like mammals that survived the event that led to the extinction of dinosaurs.
They were herbivores that resemble a beaver – and are largely known from the northern continents.
Co-author Simone Hoffmann, of the New York Institute of Technology, said this newly discovered mammal & # 39; is the oddest of oddballs & # 39 ;.
& # 39; Trying to figure out how & # 39; it moved is nearly impossible, for example, & # 39; the front-end tells us a different story than the back end, & # 39; said Hoffmann.
Madagascar is full of animals – and plants – that are nowhere else to be found on the planet.
These include sizzling cockroaches, giraffe squirrels, tomato frogs, satanic leaf geckos, panther chameleons, and striped tenrex to name a few.
It is also the signature group of mammals – lemurs – made famous in the & # 39; animated & # 39; Madagascar & # 39; films.
Only a few thousand years ago, the bizarre fauna also contained 1,400 pounds of elephant birds, gorilla-sized lemurs and pygmy hippopotamuses.
Adalatherium is a & # 39; missing switch & # 39; in evolution of mammals. The fossil record from Laurasia – the northern continent of Pangea – is much richer than that of Gondwana.
Prof Krause said: & # 39; We know little about the evolution of early mammals in the southern hemisphere. Now we have this complete skeleton. & # 39;
Gondwana is the southern land mass formed from the eruption of the first supercontinent of Pangea
Only 70 years ago, most scientists thought that the & # 39; s continents were fixed from the beginning of & # 39; e time.
As geologists further investigated the rocks of the earth and paleontologists considered the locations of fossils, a new theory gained popularity.
It proved that the earth's masses of the earth were engaged in a beautiful waltz over the history of & # 39; a planet.
This dance continues today, to continue changing the oceans, mountains and valleys as a result of moving Earth's tectonic plates.
The supercontinent Pangea began to fragment about 250 million years ago, producing the Northern land mass, known as Laurasia and the Southern land mass Gondwana.
Then, about 165 million years ago, the massive land mass of Gondwana began to erupt.
This process has taken a long time. One of the last areas to separate was Tasmania, Australia, from Antarctica nearly 45 million years ago.