150-Million-Year-Old Mammal Discovered

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

As dinosaurs started getting really big 150 million years ago, a rat-sized mammal scurried around eating termites, researchers from the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh reported this week in the journal Science.

The researchers found the fossil of a new type of animal, named Fruitafossor windscheffelia, in Colorado. The fossil is unrelated to any living creature, thus suggesting that the specialized skill of digging up insects -- used by anteaters, armadillos and other creatures -- evolved independently several times through the eons.