Indotrcinodon flies, baby!

Carlos Albuquerque
2 min readApr 17, 2024

By omegafreelancer

So learning that Indotriconodon magnus — an already impressive animal in being a large sized Mesozoic mammal and an unambiguous eutriconodont from the Maastrichtian — is also a volaticothere I naturally had to commission it in its likely volant form.

Volaticotheria phylogenetic tree by Bajpai et al 2024

Its debuting study also recover Sangarotherium and Eotriconodon as volaticotheres. The former in particular is the only mammal in an Arctic environment dominated by other synapsids (Averianov et al 2020), so it clearly must have been able to fly and migrate when other crown mammals couldn’t.

Things just keep looking up for volaticothere flight, which I already extensively argued for with the marine deposition and lack of dental wear of Ichthyoconodon, the early cosmopolitan distribution of the group, the fact that Volaticotherium‘s hand is largely missing and the fact that gliding mammals are primarily herbivorous (Luo 2017).

Naturally, I also used this image to forward my speculative volaticotheres over at Lemuria.

What a wonderous day.

References

Bajpai, Sunil; Rautela, Abhay; Yadav, Ravi; Wilson Mantilla, Gregory P. (2024–02–29). “The first eutriconodontan mammal from the Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) of India”. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. doi:10.1080/02724634.2024.2312234. ISSN 0272–4634.

Averianov, Alexander; Martin, Thomas; Lopatin, Alexey; Skutschas, Pavel; Schellhorn, Rico; Kolosov, Petr; Vitenko, Dmitry (2018–07–25). “A high-latitude fauna of mid-Mesozoic mammals from Yakutia, Russia”. PLOS ONE. 13 (7): e0199983. Bibcode:2018PLoSO..1399983A. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0199983. ISSN 1932–6203. PMC 6059412. PMID 30044817.

Luo ZX, Meng QJ, Grossnickle DM, Liu D, Neander AI, Zhang YG, Ji Q (August 2017). “New evidence for mammaliaform ear evolution and feeding adaptation in a Jurassic ecosystem”. Nature. 548 (7667): 326–329. doi:10.1038/nature23483. PMID 28792934. S2CID 4463476.

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