In Pursuit of Early Mammals (Life of the Past)

In Pursuit of Early Mammals (Life of the Past)

Zofia Kielan-Jaworowska

Language: English

Pages: 272

ISBN: 0253008174

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

In Pursuit of Early Mammals presents the history of the mammals that lived during the Mesozoic era, the time when dinosaurs ruled the Earth, and describes their origins, anatomy, systematics, paleobiology, and distribution. It also tells the story of the author, a world-renowned specialist on these animals, and the other prominent paleontologists who have studied them. Zofia Kielan-Jaworowska was the first woman to lead large-scale paleontological expeditions, including eight to the Gobi Desert in Mongolia, which brought back important collections of dinosaur, early mammal, and other fossils. She shares the difficulties and pleasures encountered in finding rare fossils and describes the changing views on early mammals made possible by these discoveries.




















successful first trip to Szechuan Province lasted from August 1921 to March 1922. He returned there for two more winters, and then to Yunnan Province for yet another. Throughout this period, Granger and his party were in constant danger from warlord battles, banditry, and often-harrowing river travel. He also, of course, participated in all five Mongolian summer explorations. Before making his first trip to Szechuan Province, Granger agreed to accompany a Swedish geologist stationed in China,

Paleontological Expeditions 65 1993 when the Mongolian Academy–American Museum Expeditions, led by Michael Novacek and Demberlyin Dashzeveg, discovered the locality of Ukhaa Tolgod in the southwestern part of the Nemegt Valley. During several years there, they collected several hundred skulls of Late Cretaceous mammals and other important fossils (Dashzeveg et al. 1995). So the largest collection of skulls of Mesozoic mammals is now housed temporarily in the American Museum of Natural History

housed in the British Museum (Natural History) in London (now the Natural History Museum). His book also contained descriptions of some cynodonts (tritylodontids), which were at the time regarded as mammals. A year later, he published a second large monograph devoted to the Mesozoic mammals of North America (Simpson 1929). It was valuable work, but new discoveries were already beginning to alter our view of early mammals. Simpson’s work contained no account of the significant material being

(Natural History) collections. Kenneth had been working at his laboratory at University College London with Frances Mussett. Father Rigney resided at that time in the United States. I was most impressed by the excellent state of preservation of this famous skull of Morganucodon from China that these three authors subsequently described so well. The lower jaws had already been separated, partly by using acid preparation, so the double jaw joint could not be examined in place. However, the

together on Mesozoic mammals, that we should write a note about Ausktribosphenos. We sent the note for a private review to Zhe-Xi Luo, who introduced so many suggestions that we invited him to become a co-author of this note. This short paper by Kielan-Jaworowska, Cifelli, and Luo, “Alleged Cretaceous Placental from Down Under,” was published (1998) in the Scandinavian journal Lethaia. In that paper, we argued that Ausktribosphenos cannot be a eutherian because of the structure of the mandible,

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