Creationists, please avert your eyes. News from the University of Alberta’s school of paleontology today that some of the earliest mammals had a lethally poisonous bite.
From today’s Edmonton Journal, the fossil in question belonged to “Bisonalveus browni, a furry, insect-eating creature about the size of a mouse that lived in North America some 60 million years ago, during what is known as the Paleocene Epoch.” The specimen was collected in 1991 but was part of a larger fossil lodged in a big hunk of shale. A graduate student noticed a ridge in a tooth, uncovered in 2004, and brought it to the attention of a supervisor, thinking it might be a cavity.
The scientific paper appears in this week’s Nature but for full text you’ll need a subscription.
This significant scientific discovery (for Canadian scientists) appears nowhere in today’s Globe and Mail. I should add too, that if dinosaurs don’t float your boat, Nature has full text online of an item entitled, “Jennifer Aniston hits a nerve”