Temporal range: Jurassic–Oligocene 160 to 35 million years ago
|Skull of Ptilodus|
They were eventually outcompeted by rodents, becoming extinct during the early Oligocene.
Multituberculates are usually placed outside both the two main groups of living mammals, the Theria (placentals and marsupials), and monotremes. Some cladistic analyses put them closer to Theria than to monotremes.
The multituberculates had a head anatomy similar to rodents. They had cheek-teeth separated from the chisel-like front teeth by a wide tooth-less gap (called the diastema). Each cheek-tooth displayed several rows of small cusps (or tubercles, hence the name) which worked against similar rows in the teeth of the jaw. It was an efficient chopping device.
|Wikispecies has information on: Multituberculata.|
- Weil, Anne (June 1997). "Introduction to Multituberculates: the “lost tribe” of mammals". Berkeley: University of California Museum of Paleontology. http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/mammal/multis/multis.html. Retrieved January 2010.
- Benton, Michael J. 2004. Vertebrate palaeontology. p. 300
- Carrano, Matthew T. and Richard W. Blob, Timothy J. Gaudin, and John R. Wible 2006. Amniote paleobiology: perspectives on the evolution of mammals, birds, and reptiles, p. 358.
- Kielan-Jaworowska, Zofia, Richard L. Cifelli, and Zhe-Xi Luo 2005. Mammals from the Age of Dinosaurs: origins, evolution, and structure. p. 299