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Thu Feb 7, 2013, 03:21 PM

Common Ancestor of Mammals Is Plucked From Obscurity

Source: NYT

Humankindís common ancestor with other mammals may have been an animal the size of a rat that weighed no more than half a pound, had a long furry tail and lived on insects.

In a comprehensive six-year study of the mammalian family tree, scientists have identified and reconstructed what they say is the most likely common ancestor of the species on the most abundant and diverse branch of that tree. The work appears to support the view that in the global extinctions some 66 million years ago, all non-avian dinosaurs had to die for mammals to flourish.

A team of researchers described the discovery as an important insight into the pattern and timing of early mammal life and a demonstration of the capabilities of a new system for handling copious amounts of fossil and genetic data in the service of evolutionary biology. The formidable new technology is expected to be widely applied in years ahead to similar investigations of plants, insects, fish and fowl.

As researchers reported Thursday in the journal Science, a lowly occupant of the fossil record, Protungulatum donnae, had several anatomical characteristics for live births that anticipated all placental mammals leading to some 5,400 living species, from shrews to elephants, bats to whales, cats to dogs and, not least, humans capable of reconstructing such playbacks of evolutionís course.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/08/science/common-ancestor-of-mammals-plucked-from-obscurity.html?pagewanted=all

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Reply Common Ancestor of Mammals Is Plucked From Obscurity (Original post)
alp227 Feb 2013 OP
Jackpine Radical Feb 2013 #1
ashling Feb 2013 #3
Manifestor_of_Light Feb 2013 #6
Fresh_Start Feb 2013 #2
yellowcanine Feb 2013 #4
muriel_volestrangler Feb 2013 #5
apocalypsehow Feb 2013 #8
Tyrs WolfDaemon Feb 2013 #7
nashville_brook Feb 2013 #9
Botany Feb 2013 #10

Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 03:24 PM

1. I'm kinda surprised.

I thought it would look a lot more like GWB.

But then, I guess it was probably a lot more harmless.

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 04:11 PM

3. Congressman Broun (R, The Pits of Hell)

to comment in 2...3...1...

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Response to ashling (Reply #3)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 05:46 PM

6. Does Broun know he once had gills and a tail?

I guess that's too much for him to deal with, since he said embryology was also "from the pits of hell."

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 03:59 PM

2. LOL, fundies hated having an ape ancestor, think how much they will love being descended from rats

I can't wait to here their reactions to this one.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 04:27 PM

4. Some resemblance to Rush Limbaugh, imo.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #5)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 06:16 PM

8. Cool graph.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 05:51 PM

7. And here I thought our common ancestor was in fact a typical GOPer

Who knew there was a mammal less evolved than they are. I just love science!






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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 06:51 PM

9. musk weasel!

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 08:28 PM

10. Dupe

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