Squirrel-like Jurassic critters shed light on mammal origins

September 10, 2014 8:20 PM

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Squirrel-like Jurassic critters shed light on mammal origins

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - It may not have been the friendliest place for furry little creatures, but three newly identified squirrel-like mammals thrived in the trees of the Jurassic Period, with dinosaurs walking below and flying reptiles soaring above.

Scientists announced on Wednesday the discovery in China of fossils belonging to three critters in a find that sheds light on a poorly understood collection of ancient mammals, and indicates that mammals as a group appeared earlier than some experts thought.

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