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New research finds the earliest evidence of a mammal’s social behavior



New study finds earliest evidence for mammal social behavior An artistic reproduction of a social group Filikomys primaevus in a cave while dinosaurs bounce above. Credit: Misaki Ouchida

A new study led by paleontologists at the University of Washington and the Burke Museum of Natural History & Culture shows that the earliest evidence of mammalian social behavior dates back to the Great Ages. long.


Evidence, published November 2 in the journal Natural Ecology & Evolution, located in the fossil record of a new genus of multiple species ̵

1; a small, rodent mammal that lived in the Late Cretaceous period of the dinosaur era – is called Filikomys primaevus, which translates as “young, friendly mouse.” These fossils are the most complete mammal fossils ever found from Mesozoic in North America. They point out that f is prime engage in multi-generational acts, nesting and burrowing, and are able to live in herds. Study co-authors – include lead author Luke Weaver, a graduate student in biology at UW and senior author Gregory Wilson Mantilla, professor of biology and paleontology curator at the Burke Museum – analyzed several fossils, all around 75.5 millionths of five years old, and were extracted from a famous dinosaur nesting site called Egg Mountain in western Montana .

Skull and skeletal fossils of at least 22 individuals f is prime found in Egg Mountain, usually clustered in groups of two to five, with at least 13 individuals found in an area of ​​30 square meters in the same rock layer. Based on the degree of good preservation of the fossils, the rocks in which they are preserved, and f is primeStrong shoulders and elbows – similar to today’s cave dwellers – Weaver, Wilson Mantilla and co-authors hypothesize these animals lived in caves and nested together. Furthermore, the animals were found to be a mixture of many adults and adolescents, suggesting these are real social groups and not just parents raising their children.

New study finds earliest evidence for mammal social behavior The life-like reconstruction along with the fossil bones has been identified Filikomys primaevus. Its strong shoulders and elbows indicate that it is a burrowing mammal. Credit: Misaki Ouchida

“It is crazy to complete this article as soon as the order at home is in effect – here we are all doing our best to create distance and social isolation, and I’m writing about how mammals interacted with society back in dinosaurs were still roaming the Earth! “says Weaver. “I think it’s really powerful to see how deeply social interactions originate in mammals. Because humans are such social animals, we tend to think sociability. Assembly is somehow unique to us, or at least to our closely evolved relatives, but now we can see that social behavior has gone further in their family tree. Mammals are one of the oldest groups of mammals and they have been extinct for 35 million years, however in the Late Cretaceous they appear to have similar group interactions. you will find it in squirrels today. “

New study finds earliest evidence for mammal social behavior One block of Filikomys primaevus The fossil has been analyzed from the Egg Mountain Formation in western Montana. This special mass consists of the skull and skeleton of two adults and one small individual. Credit: Luke Weaver

Previously, scientists thought that social behavior in mammals appeared for the first time after the mass extinction that killed the dinosaurs, and mainly in Placentalia – the group of mammals in which they belongings, all of which carry the fetus in the mother’s womb until late development. But these fossils suggest that mammals socialized during the Age of Dinosaurs, and in a completely different and older group of mammals – the multifibles.

“These fossils are game changers,” said Wilson Mantilla. “As paleontologists working to reconstruct the biology of mammals during this time, we often glued to individual teeth and possibly a jaw rolling into the river, but here we have a lot of skulls and almost complete skeletons preserved in the exact place where the animals live. Now, we can reliably look at how mammals are. Really interact with dinosaurs and other animals that live at this point. ”


Lost teeth and teeth marks provide detailed information about the dinosaur’s foraging behavior


More information:
Mammals’ initial social behavior revealed by multiple species from a dinosaur nesting site, Natural Ecology & Evolution (Year 2020). DOI: 10.1038 / s41559-020-01325-8, www.nature.com/articles/s41559-020-01325-8

Provided by University of Washington

Quote: New study finds earliest evidence of mammal social behavior (2020, November 2) retrieved November 3, 2020 from https://phys.org/news/2020 -11-earTHER-evidence-mammal-social-behavior.html

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