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Mammal Evolution Geology 331 Paleontology

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  • Mammal Evolution

    Geology 331Paleontology

  • Triassic synapsid reptiles: Therapsids or mammal-like reptiles. Note the

    sprawling posture.

  • Mammal with Upright Posture

  • Carl Buell

    From Synapsids to Mammals, a well documented transition series

    Prothero, 2007

  • Synapsid Teeth, less specialized

    Mammal Teeth, more


  • Prothero, 2007

  • Yanoconodon, Lower Cretaceous of China

  • Yanoconodon, Lower Cretaceous of China, retains ear bones attached to the inside

    lower jaw



  • Human Ear Bones, or Auditory Ossicles


    = articular of lower reptile


    = quadrate of upper reptile


  • Primary Palate

    Secondary Palate

    Mammals have a bony secondary palate

    Reptiles have a soft secondary palate

  • Hand and Foot of Permian Synapsid Seymouria

    Human Hand and Foot

    Reduction of digit bones from 2-3-4-5-3 in synapsid

    ancestors to 2-3-3-3-3 in mammals

  • Class Mammalia - Late Triassic to RecentSuperorder Tricodonta - Late Triassic to Late

    CretaceousSuperorder Multituberculata - Late Jurassic to

    Early OligoceneSuperorder Monotremata - Early Cretaceous

    to RecentSuperorder Metatheria (Marsupials) - Late

    Cretaceous to RecentSuperorder Eutheria (Placentals) - Late

    Cretaceous to Recent

  • Evolution of Mammalian Superorders


    Eutheria (Placentals)

    Metatheria (Marsupials)

    Live Birth

    Mammary Glands?.


    Multituberculates Monotremes

    . .Extinct:

  • Mammals in the Age of Dinosaurs a nocturnal life style

  • Hadrocodium, a lower Jurassic mammal with a large brain (6 mm

    brain case in an 8 mm skull)

  • Were larger brains adaptive for a greater sense of smell?

    Big Brains and Early Mammals July 14, 2011

    The Academic Minute

  • Lower Cretaceous mammal from China

  • Jawbones of a Cretaceous marsupial from Mongolia

  • Mammal fossil from the

    Cretaceous of Mongolia

  • Reconstructed Cretaceous Mammal

  • Repenomamus robustus fed on psittacosaurs. Image: Xu Xiaping, 2005

    Early Cretaceous mammal ate small dinosaurs

  • Repenomamus robustus

  • Repenomamus robustus with small dinosaur in the gut

  • Modern Elephant Shrew what is the long nose for?

  • Weasel hunting at night

  • Bats, such as this vampire bat, hunt at night

  • Monotremes: Platypus

  • The Platypus baby



  • Monotremes: Echidna

  • The Echidna

  • Typical Marsupial, a Kangaroo

  • Poorly developed newborn kangaroo

    attached to a nipple in the


  • Koala Numbat Pademelon

    Australian Marsupials

  • Wallaby Victoria State, Australia, March 2014

  • Koala

    Sugar GliderQuokka

    Australian Marsupials

  • Tasmanian Devil

  • The extinct Tasmanian Wolf

  • Convergent Evolution between

    Marsupials and


  • An extinct marsupial sabertooth cat from South America

  • Alroy, 1999

    North American record of mammal orders

    K T


    P E O M P-P

  • Prothero, 2007

  • From Lehmann (2010, Palaios, 25:141.

    Figure 1. Mammalian phylogeny for living taxa based on (A) morphological evidence (after Shoshani and McKenna, 1998) and (B) nuclear and mitochondrial DNA sequence data (after Springer and Murphy, 2007). For each tree, colors distinguish major placental clades recognized. Lightly shaded dashed lines indicate the orders that have been moved in the left-hand tree to correspond with the right-hand tree. This was done for the sake of readability.


    Tree Shrews

    Flying Lemurs


    Elephant Shrew

    Otter Shrew

    Classification: Morphology (A) vs DNA (B)

  • Science 8 February 2013

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