January 13th

2005 – Dinosaur-eating Mammal Described

The oft-repeated popular notion that mammals scuttled about during the entire reign of the dinosaurs is true–mostly. On this day in dinosaurs, a group of paleontologists led by Yaoming Hu published a paper describing Repenomamus, a mammal that ate dinosaurs.

How were the scientists so sure of this? Repenomamus was fossilized with the remains of a Psittacosaurus in its stomach. Researchers can’t be sure whether this three-foot-long mammal killed the dinosaur or scavenged it, but in either case, the discovery proved that at least some mammals ate dinosaurs.

by Julius Csotonyi / Prehistoric Mammals Pinterest
by Julius Csotonyi / Prehistoric Mammals Pinterest

So next time you think of mammals scuttling through the Mesozoic undergrowth, remember that 130 million years ago, at least one of our ancient relations was snacking on psittacosaurs.

Share photos with your favorite mammals–even if they’re not Mesozoic–with us on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #TDIDinos.