Clemens, William A. Department of Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley, California.
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A group of early mammals that currently includes at least eight genera from Laurasia (an ancient northern supercontinent comprising the landmasses that are now North America, Europe, Asia, Greenland, and Iceland) ranging in age from Middle Jurassic (159–180 MYA) to Early Cretaceous (94–144 MYA). Genera from the Late Triassic of Europe, Early Jurassic of India, and Late Cretaceous of South America have been tentatively referred to the Docodonta, but their evolutionary relationships are uncertain. All known docodonts were small. The skull of the most completely known docodont, the Late Jurassic genus Haldanodon, is approximately 30 mm (1.2 in.) in length (Fig. 1). A reconstruction of its skeleton indicates the animal was equivalent in size to a modern mole. Other docodonts, known from isolated teeth or, at best, fragments of jaws and skulls, were of a similar size. See also: Cretaceous; Jurassic
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