While space agencies are busy searching for signs of alien life on other planets, the truth is that our Earth is thriving with peculiar creatures. Furthermore, there are new creatures found, as our planet is rich in resources capable of creating the perfect habitat for all sorts of organisms. But the most mind-boggling creature of all is the human being, which is capable of intelligent thinking.
But yet again, a new strange species of mammal emerges in the overall picture of the tremendous diversity of life on Earth. It belongs to a new species of gondwanatherian mammal from the Cretaceous period, and it has been identified by the paleontologists from a very old fossil found in Madagascar.
It’s 66 million years old
The new mammal is known as a Adalatherium hui, and it belongs to the group of mammals called Gondwanatheria. The newfound creature had been living long ago when the dinosaurs were the most prevalent creatures that were roaming the Earth’s surface.
Lead author of the study, Dr. David Krause, details for us more about the group of mammals that Adalatherium hui belongs to:
“Gondwanatherians were first thought to be related to modern-day sloths, anteaters, and armadillos but now are known to have been part of a grand evolutionary experiment, doing their own thing, an experiment that failed and was snuffed out in the Eocene, about 45 million years ago”
The newfound mammal is incredibly small compared to the most prevalent creatures it lived among – the dinosaurs. Adalatherium hui was only weighing about 3 kg, which means about the same size as a cat. For dinosaurs, these mammals were practically mice or even cockroaches.
The preserved skeleton of Adalatherium hui was found near the Maevarano Formation, northwestern Madagascar. The fossil is believed to be a complete sample for any mammal from all the Mesozoic of the southern hemisphere.
The new discovery of the ancient mammal was reported in a paper for the journal Nature.