Temporal range: Upper Triassic–Recent
Mammaliforms have highly specialized molar teeth, with cusps and flat regions for grinding food. This system is unique in present mammals, although it seems to have evolved convergently in pre-mammals more than once. Instead of having many teeth that are frequently replaced, mammals have one set of baby teeth and later one set of adult teeth which fit together precisely. This may help to grind food, and make it easier to digest.
Lactation (milk) and fur, along with other features, also characterize the Mammaliaformes, though these traits are difficult to study in the fossil record. The fossilized remains of Castorocauda lutrasimilis are an exception to this.
Alternatively (see refs) Class Mammalia takes place of Mammaliaformes, and includes all members of that clade.
|Wikispecies has information on: Mammaliaformes.|
- Kielan-Jaworowska, Zofia; Cifelli, Richard L. and Luo, Zhe-Xi 2004. Mammals from the age of dinosaurs. Columbia N.Y. ISBN 0-231-11918-6
- Kemp T.S. 2005. The origin & evolution of mammals. Oxford.