University of Bristol logo and link Fossil Groups banner and link

Order Multituberculata

Reconstruction of Ptilodus, a Tertiary form
Reconstruction of Ptilodus, a Tertiary form belonging to the Cimolodonta. Image from

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
Return to Fossil groups home page

Websites produced by students on the MSc Palaeobiology programme in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Bristol for academic year 2006-7