Named By: Hillary C. Maddin, Arjan Mann & Brian Hebert - 2019.
Classification: Chordata, Synapsida, Eupelycosauria, Varanopidae.
Species: D. unamakiensis (type).
Size: Roughly estimated between 20-30 centimetres long.
Known locations: Canada, Nova Scotia - Sydney Mines Formation.
Time period: Moscovian of the Carboniferous.
Fossil representation: Partial remains on a slab.
bone features similar to the genus Mycterosaurus,
enough to be distinct, Dendromaia is a genus of
that lived in North America during the Carboniferous. Dendromaia
described from the description of two individuals on a fossil bearing
rock slab, one large, the other much smaller with slightly
differing features. These two individuals might represent adult and
juvenile forms, though the smaller one is similar to other genera
such as Archaeovenator.
Because the tail of the larger specimen lays across the smaller one, the describers of the genus came up with the name Dendromaia, meaning ‘tree mother’. This is to reflect the possibility that the individuals on this specimen might be showing a degree of parental care. If that is the correct interpretation, then it would be one of the earliest examples of parental care in animals to appear in the fossil record.
- Varanopid from the Carboniferous of Nova Scotia reveals evidence of parental care in amniotes. - Nature Ecology and Evolution 4:50-56. - Hillary C. Maddin, Arjan Mann & Brian Hebert - 2019.