Meet Cronopio dentiacutus. A fossil from the La Buitrera locality, Río Negro Province, Argentina was identified as a medium-sized dryolestoid, with an extremely enlongated snout and a pair of curved saber-fangs. Dryolestoids are an extinct mammalian group belonging to the lineage that leads to modern marsupials and placentals. They thrived in South America through the Mesozoic and into the Cenozoic. This specimen was of the early Late Cretaceous (60 million years from previously known), and based on it's dental and cranial features, is unlike previously identified specimens from the Mesozoic.
|Artist depiction of Cronopio dentiacutus|
Rougier, Guillermo W., Sabastiam Apesteguia, and Leandro C. Gaetano (2011) Highly specialized mammalian skulls from the Late Cretaceous of South America. Nature: 479, 98-102. (DOI: 10.1038/nature10591)
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