Obituary for Morganucodon

Morgie, the First Mammal

By Katrina S. of t2 science

Morganucodon (Mor-gahn-uoo-coh-don)

Meaning "Morgan's Tooth"

These are immages of the Morganucodon rat...

Where Morgie was Found

The Morganucodon rat was the earliest known species that was classified as a mammal. Morgie was first found in the limestone crevice filings in the country of Wales, and later in China. Poor Morgie’s death had an un-known cause, but we could probably guess that such a small animal could have easily gotten stuck in a muddy riverbed, and suffocated. This would have resulted in a perfectly preserved fossil of Morgie. This is what Morgie's fossil would have looked like.

Morgie, our common ancestor

The Morganucodon is the common ancestor of all mammals. From this one rat, all mammals in our world have evolved, even humans. That's right, she's the "mother of all mammals"

Morgie developed curtail features that helped distinguish her from the reptilians. These features benefitted her after the age of the dinosaurs when the age of mammals begun. They included external features such as a body covered in hair. But others like a more developed inner ear for sound sensitivity. Very early Morganucodons did not give live birth, they laid eggs, but later in the evolutionary process, they started carrying young in their bodies, and nourishing them through an umbilical chord. This provided more protection from predators and weather.

How pretty was Morgie?

This rat-like creature was about the size of a paper clip. (She must have been what, like a size 0.01shoe?) Morgie would have weighed about 1-3 ounces, or 27-89 grams. She was a mix of some reptilian features, such as her tooth structure and possibly laying eggs, but also some features that most mammals commonly share, such as skin covered in hair, or fur. What helped scientists classify this species as a mammal, was its skeletal bone structure. In reptiles, part of the jaw bones called the posterior bones, are part of the jaw. Now, in Morgie was the first time this bone was part of the inner ear. This change in bone structure mainly separates the reptilian bone structure from the mammalian skeletal bone structure, along with external features. This new jaw structure caused Morgie to have double jaw articulation.

Morgie had well adapted eyes because she was nocturnal. This enabled her to hunt for bugs, watch out for predators, or spy on aunt Phyllis, and see what toxic concoctions she was brewing up. She also a long pointy snout, and a rat-like or vole-like body shape. At the end of her body there was a short tail. Just like present day humans, Morgie had two sets of teeth in her life, and five toes on each limb. We got those genes from her because her DNA was passed along down the line, until we inherited it. So did all of the other mammals in the world. Morgie was the "mother of all mammals".

Meet Morgie's Family

These are her close relatives. ( she wishes she was less related to some of them.)

A day in the life of Morgie

Morgie's goal of the day: avoid aunt Phyllis. Keeping that in mind, her day would have gone something like this. SLEEP. On the other hand, her night time plans would have gone like this: First, Morgie would come out of whatever nook or cranny she was hiding in( for various reasons)Then check her Facebook, and maybe Instagram. Then she would have used her large eyes to hunt around for insects, along with her keen sense of smell. Using her pointy front canine teeth, she would have captured the insect. Using her molars, she would have ground up the insect and it would be on it's way out the other end.

Life After Dinosaurs Video

Watch at least the first 5-10 minutes
Life After Dinosaurs

Researchers reconstruct the Common ancestor of mammals video

Researchers Reconstruct the Common Ancestor of Placental Mammals

A special thanks to

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