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Science | ‘Enormously exciting’ fossils found in NSW opal field suggest Australia had ‘age of monotremes’ | Amznusa.com

Discovery of ‘echidnapus’ and two more species show the furry egg-layers predated marsupials

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Some time about 100m years ago in what is now an Australian opal field, a weird, furry, egg-laying, rabbit-sized mammal was gliding through a waterhole across a massive polar floodplain.

This mammal – Opalius splendens, but which scientists have thankfully blessed with the nickname “echidnapus” – was among the ancient descendants of one of the planet’s most unique orders of animals, the monotremes.

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​ Discovery of ‘echidnapus’ and two more species show the furry egg-layers predated marsupialsFollow our Australia news live blog for latest updatesGet our morning and afternoon news emails, free app or daily news podcastSome time about 100m years ago in what is now an Australian opal field, a weird, furry, egg-laying, rabbit-sized mammal was gliding through a waterhole across a massive polar floodplain.This mammal – Opalius splendens, but which scientists have thankfully blessed with the nickname “echidnapus” – was among the ancient descendants of one of the planet’s most unique orders of animals, the monotremes. Continue reading… Fossils, Australia news, Environment, New South Wales, Mammals, Animals, Biology, Evolution, Science 

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