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Hadrocodium: Wikis


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Fossil range: Early Jurassic
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
(unranked): Amniota
Class: Synapsida
(unranked): Mammaliaformes
Genus: Hadrocodium

Hadrocodium wui is an extinct basal mammal species that lived during the Lower Jurassic (approx. 195 million years ago, during the Sinemurian stage) in what is now the Yunnan province of China. Hadrocodium was a mere 3.2 cm (1.35 in) in length (about 2 grams), and is one of the smallest mammals of either the Mesozoic or Cenozoic periods.

Hadrocodium is the earliest known example of several features distinctive to mammals[1], including mammal-like mandible and middle-ear structures and a relatively large brain cavity [2]. The discovery of Hadrocodium suggests that the origination of these distinctive mammaliaform features was much older (45 million years older) than previously thought.

Whether Hadrocodium was endothermic or cold-blooded has not been settled, although its apparent nocturnal features would seem to place it in the endotherm group.




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