Thursday, January 13, 2005

Dinosaur Found in Mammal's Belly

Dinosaur Found in Mammal's Belly
Hillary Mayell
for National Geographic News
January 12, 2005

Early mammals were not only bigger than previously thought—some were carnivores and hunted small dinosaurs for dinner.

Scientists in China have uncovered the fossil remains of two mammals that lived around 130 million years ago. The finds will revolutionize current thinking about life during the Mesozoic era (248 million to 65 million years ago), a time when both dinosaurs and mammals arose.

One incredibly well-preserved fossil—of an early mammal known as Repenomamus robustus—had the remains of a small dinosaur in its belly. It is the first evidence that mammals dined on dinosaurs.

The second fossil find, named Repenomamus giganticus, is 50 percent larger than R. robustus. Until now R. robustus was the largest known mammal of the Mesozoic era. ......

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