Show Summary Details

p. 343. The origin of mammalslocked

  • T. S. Kemp


‘The origin of mammals’ considers the evolutionary history of mammals using the fossil record to chart their developmental progress. It looks at a group of ‘pre-mammals’, the Synapsids—mammal-like reptiles—including pelycosaurs from 320 mya in the Upper Carboniferous. Then came the therapsids from c.260 mya in the Middle Permian, when the world was increasingly arid. Then 250 mya a mass extinction event wiped out over 90 per cent of animals and plants. Miraculously, a few therapsids survived including the burrowing dicynodont called Lystrosaurus and cynodonts that evolved throughout the Triassic and gave rise to mammals. The earliest mammal was a mouse-sized animal called Morganucodon from 200 mya.

Access to the complete content on Very Short Introductions online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.