Scientists have recently unearthed a pre historic mammal that lived in the age of dinosaurs. The ancient mammal also possessed spines which are much akin to modern day hedgehog. It is a path breaking discovery, finding a well preserved mammal fossil dating some 125 million years ago. The discovery was made near the city of Cuenca in Spain.
Palaeontologists have been dumbfounded with the discovery which is making headlines across the world. It is akin to introducing to the world a new species that lived in the era of dinosaurs, some 125 million years ago.
What has surprised Paleontologists is the condition of the fossil with features like hair and soft tissues which make it the oldest specimen with well preserved internal organs. The well preserved fossil of Cretaceous Period mammal named Spinolestes xenarthrosus was announced by the scientific community on Wednesday.
Explaining the importance of finding a fossil with perfectly preserved skin and hair structures fossilized in microscopic detail in such an old fossil Researcher Zhe-Xi Luo, PhD, professor of organismal biology and anatomy at the University of Chicago stated that the animal displays all the structural vividness of a modern day mammalian skin.
Another paleontologist Thomas Martin from University of Bonn said that it was known that the mammals of that era had hairs but it is for the first time we have got our hands on such a well preserved fossil with intact hair right to the cellular level.
The study team is trying to solve the puzzle about how the fossil managed to remain intact and preserved for so long. Scientists suggest that probably the creature was covered by a colony of bacteria when it died. Researchers were able to make out liver, lungs and diaphragm from soft tissues. A large external ear was also found. The creature had skin plates which is much similar to present day armadillos.