Carnegie Scientist: Fossil Shows How Mammals Developed Sensitive Hearing

By Cronin, Mike | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, October 9, 2009 | Go to article overview

Carnegie Scientist: Fossil Shows How Mammals Developed Sensitive Hearing


Cronin, Mike, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


Though it weighed 2 ounces and was 5 inches long, the chipmunk- like mammal that lived 123 million years ago had something its dinosaur predators didn't: middle ear bones partially independent of its jaw bone.

That evolutionary development helped Maotherium asiaticus have more sensitive hearing.

"This made it possible for mammals to be active in the night," said Dr. Zhe-Xi Luo, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History associate director of science and curator of vertebrate paleontology, in an e-mail from Germany.

"In the Mesozoic (Era), when dinosaurs dominated the world, this is a key adaptation for the survival of mammals," he said.

Luo and a team of paleontologists discovered the existence of the previously unknown mammal when it recovered a three-dimensionally preserved fossil in Liaoning Province in northeastern China among the famous beds of the Yixian Formation.

Finding a fossil preserved in three dimensions and not flattened "like prehistoric roadkill" is unusual, Luo said.

Luo and team members report the discovery in today's issue of the journal Science. The article's primary authors are Luo, Qiang Ji of the Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences in Beijing and Xinliang Zhang of the Henan Provincial Geological Museum.

The find is significant because it provides clues to how mammals' ears evolved from reptiles' ears, Luo said.

Professor Guillermo Rougier, a paleontologist at the University of Louisville not involved in the research, explained why the work by Luo and his team is critical to science.

"For mammalian evolution, the ear is crucial, really," Rougier said. "It's one of the key features that distinguish mammals from other animals today. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Carnegie Scientist: Fossil Shows How Mammals Developed Sensitive Hearing
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.