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WILL BAIRD of Dragon’s Tales posted Wednesday on the topic of dicynodonts, complete with artistic renditions. He mentions the last dicynodont fossil known showed up in the early Cretaceous, and speculates some might have survived to the end of the Cretaceous. Too bad they couldn’t make it to the present day! Since these creatures were a branch on the line to mammalian evolution, retain features of our therapsid ancestors, and are long extinct I think there are a lot of paleontologists and evolutionary biologists out there who would sacrifice various body parts if it would enable us to find a living example. I’m not even a paleontologist and I’d consider giving up a little toe.
I MENTIONED in a recent post that 75% of all of the types of mammals that have ever lived are now extinct. We have a tendency to think of extant organisms as all there is. We know dinosaurs once lived and are now extinct, but you’d be hard-pressed to get the average person to name one major extinct non-dinosaurian group. Yet we don’t have to look very far into our own past to find many of them.