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Agilodocodon facts for kids

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Agilodocodon
Temporal range: Callovian
~164.7–161.2Ma
Scientific classification
Genus:
Agilodocodon
Species:
scansorius

Agilodocodon was a shrew-sized docodont from the Middle Jurassic. It is the earliest known tree-climbing mammal-like therapsid.

Agilodocodon scansorius was about 13 centimeters from head to tail, and weighed about 27 grams. Its appearance was similar to a squirrel, with a long snout, curved, horny claws and flexible ankle and wrist joints typical of modern arboreal mammals. The front teeth were spade-like, indicating that Agilodocodon scansorius could gnaw tree bark and eat gum or sap.

This interpretation is questioned by another palaeontologist. He thinks Agilodocodon's teeth "are quite different" from the modern sap-eating monkeys, and the long, thin lower jaw seems too weak for gnawing tree bark.

Discovery

The fossils of Agilodocodon scansorius, with the mole-like Docofossor brachydactylus, were found by farmers in the Chinese Tiaojishan Formation. They were got and examined by the Beijing Museum of Natural History. The species Agilodocodon scansorius was reported in the journal Science in 2015.

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