Necrolestes

Name: Necrolestes ‭(‬Grave robber‭)‬.
Phonetic: Nek-roe-less-teez.
Named By: Florentino Ameghino‭ ‬-‭ ‬1994.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Mammalia,‭ ‬Theria,‭ ‬Necrolestidae.
Species: N.‭ ‬patagonensis‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Insectivore‭?
Size: Uncertain but estimated around‭ ‬15‭ ‬centimetres long.
Known locations: South America,‭ ‬Patagonia.
Time period: Early Miocene.
Fossil representation: Partial remains,‭ ‬particularly the snout.

       Necrolestes is only known from partial remains,‭ ‬but the snout‭ (‬the best preserved part‭) ‬has an upturned tip.‭ ‬This has led to speculation that Necrolestes may have had a fleshy appendage similar to that seen on the star nosed mole‭ (‬Condylura cristata‭)‬.‭ ‬This in turn has led to speculation that Necrolestes may have lived like a mole,‭ ‬although an alternative is that it may have been a more regular kind of small mammal that pushed a specially adapted sensing nose through leaf litter to find hidden invertebrates.‭ ‬Necrolestes is usually interpreted as being a marsupial because these were the dominant types of mammals in South America until it became connected to North America in the Pliocene.

Further reading
- Nuevos restos de mamíferos fósiles descubiertos por Carlos Ameghino en el Eoceno inferior de la Patagonia austral. – Especies nuevas, adiciones y correcciones [New remains of fossil mammals discovered by Carlos Ameghino in the lower Eocene of southern Patagonia. – New species, additions, and corrections]. - Revista Argentina de Historia Natural 1:289-328 . - F. Ameghino - 1891.
- Los Metatheria sudamericanos de comienzos del Neógeno (Mioceno Temprano, Edad-mamí­fero Colhuehuapense). - Parte I: Introducción, Didelphimorphia y Sparassodonta. Ameghiniana 44(1):29-71. - F. Goin, A. Abello, E. Bellosi, R. Kay, R. Madden & A. Carlini - 2007.
- The Patagonian fossil mammal Necrolestes: a Neogene survivor of Dryolestoidea. - Revista del Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales, Nueva Serie. 14 (2): 261–306. - Nicolás R. Chimento, Federico L. Agnolin & Fernando E. Novas - 2012.



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