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Friday, April 22, 2016

Ancient Termite-Digging Creature Added to Mammal Family Tree

A new look at a fossil mammal with powerful front legs for digging is clearing up questions about the origin of a group of strange and scaly modern-day creatures called pangolins.
First excavated in Mongolia in the 1970s, the fossil sat in storage for decades until researchers for the Russian Academy of Sciences rediscovered and analyzed it, reporting their results today (Aug. 27) in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 
What they found was a dog-size, strong-shouldered digger called Ernanodon. This mammal lived about 57 million years ago, after dinosaurs had died out and our furry ancestors had taken over. Ernanodon was known from one other fossil found in China, but that specimen is warped, and some archaeologists even thought it might be a fake.http://www.livescience.com/22700-termite-digging-mammal-discovered.html

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