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The Dinosaurs’ Neighbours


The Dinosaurs’ Neighbours
Tiny mammals lived alongside dinosaurs in the Mesozoic era. While many are now extinct, some of their descendants are still alive today
Mammals are characterised in many different ways, such as the possession of hair and mammary glands that produce milk for their offspring. While it is the formidable dinosaurs that people associate most with the Mesozoic era, mammals also lived and evolved during this era. For example, during the early Cretaceous period, egg-laying mammals, such as the Teinolophos, existed. Little is actually known about this mammal as only a few partial lower-jaw bones have ever been discovered.

Certain characteristics of these jaw bones indicated that the Teinolophos was indeed a monotreme – an egg-laying mammal. The platypus and the echidna are the only remaining monotremes. They are found only in Australia, where the Teinolophos lived around 120 million years ago.
Going further back into the late Jurassic period, there existed the Multituberculata – a small rodent-like mammal that occupied the northern hemisphere. Examples of these mammals include Ptilodus, which largely resemble modern-day squirrels thanks to their sharp claws that grip onto the bark of trees and feet that can be reversed backwards to allow the animals to climb down trees with their heads pointing downwards. Here are just a few example of the mammals that existed throughout the Mesozoic era.

The Dinosaurs’ Neighbours