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Order Multituberculata


Reconstruction of Ptilodus, a Tertiary form
Reconstruction of Ptilodus, a Tertiary form belonging to the Cimolodonta. Image from http://www.paleocene-mammals.de/multis.htm

The multituberculates are a group of extinct mammals most diverse in the Mesozoic era. The name of the order comes from the numerous rows of tubercles (cusps) present on their molar teeth. The Order Multituberculata belongs to the Subclass of mammals Allotheria. 

They are the only major branch of mammals to have no living representatives. Originating in the mid-Jurassic, they were extinct by the mid-Tertiary. Their extinction may have been brought about by competition with other mammals.

Despite being the most completely known of all Mesozoic mammals, where they fit within the Mammalia remains a mystery. The internal relationships within the order are equally unresolved.



Author: Aude Caromel
Last updated: 20/11/06
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