An expert team of scientists from Edinburgh University have unearthed the fossil of a plant-eating creature they say bears resemblance to a beaver, and somehow survived the events which led to dinosaurs becoming extinct around 65 million years ago.
There is still mystery surrounding just how the Kimbetopsalis simmonsae, which is what the newly discovered species has been named (catchy, isn’t it?), managed to flourish while other land roaming animals met their demise.
Dr Stephen Brusatte, a dinosaur expert who was the lead researcher on the university’s digging trip to New Mexico in North America, revealed how the team’s discovery was a unique one.
When speaking to the BBC in regards to the find, Brusatte said: “We realised pretty quickly that this was a new type of mammal that no-one has seen before.”
He added that the animal’s teeth were specialised for plant-chewing, and featured complicated rows of cusps at the back with incisors at the front to focus on gnawing.
The team of experts decided on the name of the species, naming it after the area where it was found, Kimbeto Wash in New Mexico’s badlands.
Dr Brusatte went on to say: “The other part of the name – psalis – means cutting shears and is in reference to the blade-like teeth.”
Even today, the extinction of dinosaurs remains a hotly debated topic among scientists, many of whom possess a number of varying theories in regards to them being wiped out. There’s everything from the widely known catastrophic event, involving an asteroid hitting Earth, to climatic changes which affected the food chain.
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