back to article Proto-mammals survived ancient global warming in Antarctica

Fossil-probing boffins say they have found evidence that early mammal-like creatures survived a severe episode of global warming 252 million years ago by moving to Antarctica. Most other species then living were wiped out. The new research comes from scientists at the Field Museum in Chicago and the University of Washington. …

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FAIL

Don't need antarctica!

They could have just moved to New Zealand. It's less than three weeks until the summer solstice and here in Wellington it's 9 C outside at 11 PM, heading for a low of 6.

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Pirate

Egg-laying furless cat

We want pictures!

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Thumb Up

I want one

Cool, a cold-blooded, furless, egg-laying... cat. To go with the flying, feathered, egg-laying yellow cat and the fury, barking, warm-blooded cat.

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FAIL

"cooler climates" of Antarctica?

At the end of the Permian period, the land that is now Antarctica was in a bit of Gondwana near the equator, so it wasn't exactly the coolest part of the world.

Which of course explains how a cold-blooded furless egg-laying ... cat was able to live there...

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Welcome

different from today's mammals

" it likely laid eggs, didn't nurse its young and didn't have fur, and it is uncertain whether it was warm blooded,"

erm, that would be a reptile then ?

Oh, and while we're about it, may I be the first to say that I for one welcome our new egg laying, hairless, protomamalian, feline over-lords ?

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Bronze badge
WTF?

cat ?

Er.. so in what way is it 'like a cat' ?

I agree with loopy lou - I suppose the later to appear creatures are scaley, cold blooded, egg laying cats - some as large as buildings.

I suspect the palentologist involved is a woman. and likes cats.

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Paris Hilton

Am I missing something here?

If they didn't nurse their young, what makes them mammals? (or even proto-mammals?)

Surely the defining aspect of all mammals is the presence of mammary glands, which in non-human species is only ever used for nursing the young.

We, of course, have evolved to produce Paris and her ilk....

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Headmaster

No-one said they were mammals...

The article says, somewhat misleadingly, that they were mammal-like. They were part of a group called mammal-like reptiles, which were ancestral to mammals. They possessed some physiological characteristics not seen in other reptile lineages, and the groups would ultimately diverge into mammals, birds, dinosaurs etc. You certainly wouldn't look at one of these critters and think it resembled a mammal.

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Silver badge
Go

So it looked like Mr. Bigglesworth?

And they survived because dinosaurs would not gnaw on the kitty?

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Anomodonts?

Your mean a.NOM.NOM.NOM.odonts?

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I just looked up anomodonts on Wikipedia

It has pictures, and I don't know what you're all talking about. It looks exactly like a cat to me.

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Anonymous Coward

@I just looked up anomodonts on Wikipedia

Just looked it up myself....

Firstly, they don't have pictures... they have artist impressions of what these creatures "may" have looked like with their skin on (which is rarely preserved in fossils).

Secondly, the artists impressions are very much of a reptilian nature.

Lastly, from a body shape perspective, I can't see much correlation to any living mammals.

Having said that, I can imagine some of them bouncing around and wagging their tails like a dog.

And for the record, I'm not a dog fan, I much prefer cats.

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