Name: Zhangheotherium (Zhanghe mammal).
Phonetic: Zang-ee-oh-fee-ree-um.
Named By: Hu,‭ ‬Y.Q.‭ ‬Wang,‭ ‬Luo‭ & ‬Li,‭ ‬C.‭ ‬-‭ ‬1997.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Mammalia,‭ ‬Trechnotheria,‭ ‬Symmetrodonta,‭ ‬Spalacotherioidea,‭ ‬Zhangheotheriidae.
Species: Z.‭ ‬quinquecuspidens‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: ‬Insectivore.
Size: ‭B‬ody approximately‭ ‬16‭ ‬centimetres long,‭ ‬longer including the tail.
Known locations: China,‭ ‬Liaoning Province‭ ‬-‭ ‬Yixian Formation.
Time period: Barremian to Aptian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Several specimens,‭ ‬usually of teeth and jaw material but a least one complete specimen is known.

       Zhangheotherium was the first symmetrodont known by a complete specimen.‭ ‬Zhangheotherium had pointed multicusped‭ (‬up to five‭) ‬teeth towards the rear of the mouth,‭ ‬something which is reflected in the species name Z.‭ ‬quinquecuspidens.‭ ‬Despite the fact that Zhangheotherium was a mammal,‭ ‬the limbs sprawled out to the sides like a lizard rather than supporting the body from underneath.‭ ‬An analogy between Zhangheotherium and the modern day platypus‭ (‬Ornithorhynchus anatinus‭)‬ can be made in that both possess venomous spurs on their lower legs.
       Small mammals like Zhangheotherium and Sinobaatar were prey to carnivorous dinosaurs,‭ ‬something that has been proved by the presence of mammal bones inside the dinosaur Sinosauropteryx.

Further reading
- A new symmetrodont mammal from China and its implications for mammalian evolution. - Nature 390:137-142. - Y. Hu, Y. Wang, Z. Luo & C. Li - 1997.


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