Feature

Man's common ancestor with other mammals: A rat?

Say hi to your, great, great, great, great... grand-something

What do humans, elephants, bats, dogs, cats, and whales all have in common? Apparently, this little thing.

Yep. Scientists have zeroed in on a tiny, rat-sized animal that they believe to be the common ancestor of many of today's modern mammals — including us. This furry little critter lived 66 million years ago, scurrying under the feet of big 'ol dinosaurs and subsisting primarily on a diet of insects.

For a long time, scientists have been hunting for "a common genealogical link" between man and beast, and the Protungulatum donna is it, according to The New York Times. The Cretaceous-age animal was first discovered in the Gobi Desert in 1994. In a new study, researchers have identified that several of its anatomical characteristics made it a ripe candidate for humankind's common ancestor with other mammals because it live-birthed its young, and nourished them in utero through a placenta, just like humans, whales, and other aforementioned animals. 

In any case, say hi to your great, great, great, great, great... grand-something. Careful. She bites. (Via the New York Times)

Recommended

Why activists are skeptical of Qatar's carbon-neutral World Cup
World Cup in Qatar
Carbon goals

Why activists are skeptical of Qatar's carbon-neutral World Cup

A new drug that fights Alzheimer's?
Lab research
Briefing

A new drug that fights Alzheimer's?

Elon Musk hopes to implant computers into human brains by next year
neuralink logo on phone
Insert chip here

Elon Musk hopes to implant computers into human brains by next year

Why Australia doesn't want to list the Great Barrier Reef as endangered
Great Barrier Reef
danger zone

Why Australia doesn't want to list the Great Barrier Reef as endangered

Most Popular

Russian military bloggers are reportedly irate over Ukraine drone strikes
Drone strike inside Russia
Fear Factor

Russian military bloggers are reportedly irate over Ukraine drone strikes

439 Texas churches split from United Methodist Church in widening schism
United Methodist Church
Breaking up is hard to do

439 Texas churches split from United Methodist Church in widening schism

Trump denies calling to 'terminate' the Constitution after doing so
Donald Trump at a rally.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Trump denies calling to 'terminate' the Constitution after doing so