Thursday, August 06, 2009

Basal Mammal with Opposable Thumbs Discovered

In a story for the Regina Leader-Post, Randy Boswell of Canwest writes that an animal that is between 250 and 260 million years old has been discovered that has opposable thumbs and likely climbed in trees. He writes:

University of Toronto paleontologist Robert Reisz and his former student Jorg Frobisch, now with Chicago's Field Museum, have published a study documenting the grasping abilities and tree-dwelling habits of suminia gemanovi - a long-tailed, lizard-like creature that was nevertheless more closely related to our own mammalian ancestors than to any reptile.

Part of a dead-end family of proto-mammals that disappeared before the dinosaur age, suminia shared a distinctive skull structure with mammals that distinguished it from lizards and birds.

Another piece of the puzzle.

Now playing: Anthony Phillips - Sleepfall: The Geese Fly West
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