In a new study published today, a team of international scientists has found that a small, furry-tailed, insect-eating creature was the earliest ancestor of all placental mammals—a widely diverse group of animals ranging from bats to humans.
The researchers analyzed the world’s largest dataset of genetic and physical traits to find that placental mammals diversified into present-day lineages much later than is commonly thought: after the extinction event 65 million years ago that eliminated non-avian dinosaurs.
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Pictured: An artist’s rendering of the hypothetical placental ancestor (by Carl Buell)
Museum artist Stephen C. Quinn paints a mural for a new exhibition opening this fall. Quinn has worked on dioramas here at the American Museum of Natural History for nearly 40 years.
© AMNH/D. Finnin
Beautiful French style near DC. Barnes Vanze Architects.