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Temporal range: Late Jurassic, Kimmeridgian–Tithonian
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Clade: Tribosphenida
Genus: Fruitafossor
Luo and Wible, 2005
F. windscheffeli
Binomial name
Fruitafossor windscheffeli
Luo and Wible, 2005

Fruitafossor was a termite-eating mammal of North America during the Upper Jurassic epoch (about 150 million years ago).[1]

The description is based on a surprisingly complete skeleton of a chipmunk-sized animal.[1] It was discovered in 2005, in Fruita, Colorado.

The animal looked like an armadillo (or anteater) and probably ate termites in much the same manner as these animals do today (ants had not yet evolved). Other skeletal features clearly show that Fruitafossor was not related to armadillos, anteaters, or any modern group of mammal. This means that specializations associated with feeding on ants or termites have evolved many times in mammals: in Fruitafossor, anteaters, numbats, aardvarks, pangolins, and echidnas.


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  1. 1.0 1.1 Luo, Z-X; Wible, JR (2005). "A late Jurassic digging mammal and early mammalian diversification". Science. 308 (5718): 103–107. Bibcode:2005Sci...308..103L. doi:10.1126/science.1108875. PMID 15802602. S2CID 7031381.