Some fossils of a couple of mammals in China provides the world with a surprise: The last meal of the smallest of them was a dinosaur. A small dinosaur, and not fully grown, but still a dinosaur.
This means that the view currently being held, that mammals at the time of dinosaurs were small creatures the size of mice, must be reviewed. Obviously. The smaller of the mammals – Repenomamus robustus – was the size of a cat, while the larger one – Repenomamus giganticus – was the size of a dog. Read more of the details around this in Wired, The New York Times article and opinion.
The fascinating thing is when you start thinking about what this means: Unless we ditch evolution in favour of creationism, these mammals must have evolved from smaller creatures – and I don’t think it’s very probable that the result of this produced only these two species. What more can be found? Also, it doesn’t take a very bright brain to realise mammals of at least this size coexisted with dinosaurs. I say ‘at least this size’, because up until this it was “well known” that the largest mammals coexisting with dinosaurs were the size of mice – who is to say we won’t find proof even lager mammals lived at that time, too?
Then I wonder – since we now know large mammals lived in the time of dinosaurs – can we be sure that the dating we have of fossils of mammals that size and smaller really are correct? Are all mammals previously believed to be from the time after the dinosaurs really are from such a late period? I may be going out on a limb here with wild speculations, but I would find it stranger if these two mammals were the only one found living in this period – and the dating game isn’t an exact science, that much I’ve read earlier.
In any case, it will be interesting to read more of this – if anyone have further links or more to ponder, please let me know.