Dec. 2, 2019

Researchers have unearthed well-preserved middle ear bones from a new species of an extinct rodent that lived 145-66 million years ago in what is now northeastern China.


  • The study, published in the journal Nature, looked at fossils of the extinct rodent-like mammal — Jeholbaatar kielanae — at Jehol Biota of China, and noted that these animals had a middle ear that is distinct from those of its relatives.

  • The fossil clues provide solid evidence of the morphology and formation of the inner ear bones, which are fully detached from the lower jaw. The new fossil reveals a transitional stage in the evolution of the surangular — a “reptilian” jawbone.

  • In these extinct mammals, the evolution of the middle ear may have probably been triggered by functional constraints on the bones and muscles involved in feeding.

  • This advance may lead to better understanding of the evolution of hearing. 

Source : The Hindu