Pantotheria


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Pantotheria

[‚pan·tə′thir·ē·ə]
(paleontology)
An infraclass of carnivorous and insectivorous Jurassic mammals; early members retained many reptilian features of the jaws.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Pantotheria

 

an order of fossil mammals whose remains, fragments of jaws and teeth, are known from Upper Triassic and Cretaceous deposits. Pantotheres were small animals, the size of mice or rats. The incisors and molars were more numerous in pantotheres than in their ancestors. The molars were similar to those of primitive Placentalia. Pantotheres were distributed in Eurasia, North America, and Africa. The animals fed on insects. As the ancestors of Marsupialia and Placentalia, pantotheres are of interest in the study of mammalian evolution.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.