Named By: Rich et al. - 1999.
Classification: Chordata, Mammalia, Monotremata, Platypoda, Steropodontidae.
Species: T. trusleri (type).
Size: Estimated at around 10 centimetres long (based upon comparison to similar mammals).
Known locations: Australia, Victoria.
Time period: Aptian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Partial left dentary (lower jaw bone).
At roughly the time when large predatory dinosaurs like Australovenator were roaming Australia, the mammals were eking out a living in the shadows. One of these, a tiny monotreme mammal (the kind that still laid eggs) was called Teinolophos and although only known from a partial jawbone, Teinolophos is considered to be one of if not the earliest relatives of the platypus. Reconstructions and size estimations of Teinolophos are usually based upon comparison to Steropodon, a related monotreme that possibly resembled a larger Teinolophos. However Steropodon itself is also only known from a jawbone and its reconstruction is more directly based upon the platypus.
- The mandible and dentition of the Early Cretaceous monotreme Teinolophos trusleri. - Alcheringa: An Australasian Journal of Palaeontology. - Thomas H. Rich, James A. Hopson, Pamela G. Gill, Peter Trusler, Sally Rogers-Davidson, Steve Morton, Richard L. Cifelli, David Pickering, Lesley Kool, Karen Siu, Flame A. Burgmann, Tim Senden, Alistair R. Evans, Barbara E. Wagstaff, Doris Seegets-Villiers, Ian J. Corfe, Timothy F. Flannery, Ken Walker, Anne M. Musser, Michael Archer, Rebecca Pian & Patricia Vickers-Rich - 2016.