Leptictidium

Leptictidium

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This image is part of the feature The Beasts That Time Forgot

Credit: CHRISTIAN DARKIN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Leptictidium. Artist's impression of the extinct mammal Leptictidium hunting a cicada. Fossil skeletons revealed that Leptictids had small front legs and large back legs allowing them to move by hopping or jumping. They measured up to 90cm long from nose to tail. Fossilised stomach contents reveal a diet of insects, smaller mammals and lizards. Leptictids existed during the time of the dinosaurs but eventually became extinct at the beginning of the Oligocene epoch, 40 million years ago. Cicadas have been in existence from at least 125 million years ago, to the present day.

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Keywords: animal, animals, artwork, canopy, carnivore, cicada, delicate weasel, early mammal, eocene, evolution, evolutionary biology, extinct, extinct mammal, fauna, fossil vertebrate, fossils, hunter, hunting, illustration, insect, insectivore, leptictid, leptictidium, mammal, palaeontology, paleontology, prehistoric, prehistory, tree, treetop, vertebrates, wildlife

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