Kollikodon

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Kollikodon ritchiei
Conservation status: Fossil
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Mammalia
Order:Monotremata
Family:Kollikodontidae
Genus:Kollikodon
Species:ritchiei
Binomial name
Kollikodon ritchiei
Flannery, Archer, Rich & Jones, 1995

Kollikodon ritchiei is an extinct monotreme species. It is known only from an opalised dentary fragment, with one premolar and two molars in situ. The fossil was found at Lightning Ridge, New South Wales, Australia, as was Steropodon.

Kollikodon lived in the lower Cretaceous period, during the middle Albian age (100-104 million years ago).

Like Steropodon, Kollikodon was a relatively large mammal for the Mesozoic. The molars have a length of around 5.5 mm and a width of between about 4 to 6 mm, (Clemens et al, 2003). Based upon these data, the potential body length could be up to a metre. Assuming the accuracy of such a guess, Kollikodon would be a contender for the largest Mesozoic mammal known, along with other possible giants such as Repenomamus, Schowalteria, and Bubodens.

Aside from its size, it is difficult to say what Kollikodon looked like. However, it may have been at least partly aquatic, as its strange teeth would work well for crushing shellfish.

Both Kollikodon and Steropodon can be found at the Australian Museum in Sydney, along with Eric, the opalised pliosaur.

Contents

Origin of Kollikodons name

Kollix is an ancient Greek word for a bread roll. The strange teeth of Kollikodon, when seen from above, resemble hot cross buns, traditionally toasted and eaten on Good Friday. The original suggestion for the animal's name was Hotcrossbunidon, but this was felt to be invalid in terms of the rules of zoological nomenclature, and so Kollikodon was officially proposed.

See also

External links

References

  • Flannery, T.F., Archer, M., Rich, T.H., Jones, R. (1995) "A new family of monotremes from the Cretaceous of Australia". Nature 377: 418-420.
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