Revealing The Cynodonts Missing Braincase – How Mammals Evolved With Cartilage Braincases
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About The Author

Julien Benoit currently works at the Evolutionary Studies Institute, University of the Witwatersrand. Julien does research in Paleobiology, Neuroscience and Evolutionary Biology. HIs current project is 'Pre-mammalian evolution of the central nervous system and sensory organs in Therapsida using computed tomography.'

                       

Revealing The Cynodonts Missing Braincase – How Mammals Evolved With Cartilage Braincases

Imagine animals without an ossified braincase. Animals in which the brain is encapsulated by soft cartilage instead of hard bone. These animals did exist, and they belonged to the lineage that gave birth to mammals! Mammals evolved from reptilian-looking ancestors some 250-200 million years ago. Mammalians ancestors of that time were sprawling animals, they likely did not have hair and they had a third eye on the top of their skull like some modern reptiles do. These ancestors are called...

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