As compared to all the other animal's mammals are believed to have biggest brains and have the capability to produce the smallest litters of offspring. A recently described fossil of one of the extinct mammal relative along with her all 38 babies is one of the best evidence showing that a major development in the evolution of mammal was related to trading of brood power for brain power.
The researchers from the University of Texas at Austin said that “The finding is extremely rare as it has one of the only known fossils of babies belonging to any mammal precursor. These searchers are the ones who have studied and also discovered the fossilized family. Because of the presence of such a large number of babies almost twice the average litter size of the mammal which is living it was learned that it reproduced in a similar way like akin to reptiles. The researchers also believed that these babies we actually developing when they were inside eggs or they had been hatched recently when they died.
On Aug 29 the study was published in the journal Nature which describes the specimens which researchers believe that can be helpful in revealing how actually mammals evolve with the different approaches for the reproduction, these approaches are different because their ancestors do not use it. These different approaches used by the mammals helped them to produce large numbers of the offspring.
“The babies are actually a very important key point in the evolutionary tree,” mentioned Eva Hoffman, who once led a research on fossils. “The babies have many similar features as the modern and present-day mammals and these are the feature which is quite relevant and helpful in exploring and understanding the mammalian evolution in a better way.”
Extinct species which was of beagle sized known as Kayentatherium wellesi is the one to which this mammal belonged to. This extinct species lived alongside dinosaurs for about 185 million years ago. Kayentatherium might have hair just like mammals do.
At the beginning when Rowe collected fossil for more than 18 years ago from some rock formation, he had no clue that it may contain dozen babies. He simply thought he is just bringing one single specimen along with him. At that time it was difficult for him to known that it is having a dozen babies.
A former graduate student of the Jackson School, Sebastian Egberts was the first one who identified and spotted the first clear sign of the babies.