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Temporal range: Lower Cretaceous
Repenomamus giganticus skull.JPG
Repenomamus giganticus skull
Scientific classification

Li, Wang, Wang, Li, 2000

Li, Wang, Wang, Li, 2000
The R. robustus specimen with Psittacosaurus remains in its stomach

Repenomamus is the largest known mammal from the Cretaceous period. Its fossil was found in Manchuria.

There is good evidence that it fed on dinosaurs. It is not known whether Repenomamus was a hunter or a scavenger.

Life style[change | change source]

Repenomamus was carnivorous. A specimen of R. robustus has been discovered with the fragmentary skeleton of a juvenile Psittacosaurus preserved in its stomach.[1]

This is the strongest evidence that Mesozoic mammals fed on dinosaurs, though there were earlier indications of this.[2]

The larger species, R. giganticus, is the largest mammal known from the Cretaceous. R. giganticus was more than 1 metre (39 inches) long and weighed about 12–14 kg (26–31 lb). Its skull measures 16 cm (6.25 in) long, its body 52 cm (20.5 in), and the preserved part of its tail 36 cm (14 in).

Discovery[change | change source]

The fossils were recovered from the lagerstätte of the Yixian Formation in the Liaoning Province of China, renowned for its extraordinarily well-preserved fossils of feathered dinosaurs. They have been dated to 130 million years ago, during the Lower Cretaceous period.[3]

Repenomamus is a genus of triconodonts, a group of mammaliaformes with no modern relatives.

References[change | change source]

  1. Yaoming Hu, Jin Meng, Yuanqing Wang, Chuankui Li (2005). "Large Mesozoic mammals fed on young dinosaurs". Nature. 433 (7022): 149–152. doi:10.1038/nature03102. PMID 15650737.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  2. Elzanowski, Andrzej & Wellnhofer, Peter. 1993. Skull of Archaeornithoides from the Upper Cretaceous of Mongolia. American Journal of Science. 293-A-A, 235-252
  3. J. Li; et al. (2001). "A new family of primitive mammal from the Mesozoic of western Liaoning, China". Chinese Science Bulletin. 46 (9): 782–785. doi:10.1007/BF03187223. ISSN 1001-6538.