Left dentary of Shuotherium dongi in lingual view, from Kielan-Jaworowska et al. (2002).

Belongs within: Mammaliaformes.
Contains: Prototheria, Eutriconodonta, Multituberculata, Trechnotheria.

The name ‘Mammalia’ has generally been restricted in recent years to the crown-group of mammals, i. e. the smallest possible clade including monotremes, marsupials and placentals. Mammals are distinguished from other living vertebrates by their covering of hair and the production of milk, but these features probably evolved some time before the appearance of the crown group (exactly when being uncertain). Among living mammals, modern authors universally agree on a basal division between monotremes and the remaining taxa (therians). The name Prototheria has been applied to the monotreme total group (all species closer to Ornithorhynchus anatinus than Elephas maximus; O’Leary et al. 2013). Analyses disagree whether the Jurassic Shuotheriidae belong to this clade. The Shuotheriidae possessed a crushing heel, the pseudotalonid, on their molars that differed from the talonid of modern therians in being anterior rather than posterior to the trigonid (Kielan-Jaworowska et al. 2006).

Early members of the lineage leading to modern therians include Fruitafossor windsheffeli, a late Jurassic species from Colorado that is the earliest known mammal specialised for a fossorial (digging) lifestyle. Volaticotherium antiquum of the Chinese Daohugou formation (between middle Jurassic and early Cretaceous in age) bore a large patagium and represents the earliest known gliding mammal (Meng et al. 2006). The Tinodontidae are a Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous group with lower jaws bearing three premolars and four molars with reduced talonids, and a relatively small and triangular pterygoid fossa (Averianov 2002). The affinities of the late Triassic to early Jurassic Kuehneotheriidae are uncertain.

Synapomorphies (from Luo et al. 2002): Occlusal surfaces matching precisely between upper and lower molars upon eruption. Distinctive masseteric fossa present on mandible with a well−defined ventral margin, occupying entire mandibular angle region. Cochlear canal more elongate than in outgroups (although not always coiled). Ossified pila antotica absent between cavum epiptericum and braincase (except in multituberculates). Astragalus and calcaneus usually in partial superposition. Gyrencephalic cerebral hemispheres greatly enlarged (with external gyri and sulci on surface of endocast), at least in living taxa.

<==Mammalia [Holotheria, Marsupionta, Symmetrodonta, Tribosphenida]
    |  `--Shuotheriidae [Shuotheridia, Yinotheria]LJY07
    |       |--Pseudotribos Luo, Ji & Yuan 2007LJY07
    |       |    `--*P. robustus Luo, Ji & Yuan 2007LJY07
    |       `--Shuotherium Chow & Rich 1982SK20, K-JCL02
    |            |--*S. dongi Chow & Rich 1982K-JCL02
    |            |--S. kermacki Sigogneau-Russell 1998K-JCL02
    |            `--S. shilongi Wang et al. 1998K-JCL02
         |--Fruitafossor Luo & Wible 2005BW14, LW05
         |    `--*F. windscheffeli Luo & Wible 2005LW05
         `--+--Volaticotherium Meng, Hu et al. 2006MH20, MH06 [Volaticotheria, Volaticotheriidae]
            |    `--*V. antiquum Meng, Hu et al. 2006MH06, MH07, MH06 [=V. antiquusMH06]
                            |--Yermakia domitorMH20
                            |--Gobiotheriodon Trofimov 1997A02
                            |    `--G. infinitus (Trofimov 1980) [=Gobiodon infinitus, Gobiondon (l. c.) infinitus]A02
                            `--Tinodon Marsh 1879MH20, A02 [incl. Eurylambda Simpson 1929A02, Menacodon Marsh 1887A02]
                                 |--T. bellus Marsh 1879 [incl. T. lepidus Marsh 1879]A02
                                 `--T. micron Ensom & Sigogneau-Russell 2000A02
Mammalia incertae sedis:
    |--H. microsH98
    `--H. phelizioniH98
  Hohomys lii Hu 1995MHL03
  Motheretus telhebresusMHL03
  Untermannerix copiosusMHL03
  Dzungariotherium orgosenseDW04
  Alloptox minorDW04
    |--M. ibericusM-SA09
    |--M. minorM-SK04
    |    |--M. m. minorM-SK04
    |    `--M. m. debruijniM-SK04
    `--M. sinensisDW04
  Sayimys obliquidensDW04
    |--H. matritenseDW04
    `--H. tungurenseDW04
  Dinocrocuta giganteaDW04
    |--A. fuguensisDW04
    |--A. hezhengensisDW04
    |--A. palaeosinensisDW04
    `--A. tsaidamensisDW04
  Pararhizomys hipparionumDW04
  Iranotherium morganiDW04
  Honanotherium schlosseriDW04
  Parataxidea sinensisDW04
  Eotheomys imaizumii (Jameson 1961)I92
  Acanthonotus Goldfuss 1809C92
  Paraglirulus werenfelsiM-SK04
  Glirudinus undosusM-SK04
  Albanensia albanensisM-SK04
  Tapiravus polkensisWW04
  Wanotherium xuanchengensisHC97
  Spinigera Lesson 1842BR05
  Nothodectes gidleyi Matthew 1917S35a
  Megopterna minuta Douglass 1908S35b
    |--C. brevicaudatusG66
    `--C. maculatus [incl. C. m. var. ochropus]G66
  Liaotherium Zhou et al. 1991A02
    `--L. gracile Zhou et al. 1991A02
    |--S. horsfieldiT00
    |--S. hosei Thomas 1900T00
    |--S. platyurusT00
    |--S. setosusT00
    |--S. thomsoni Thomas 1900T00
    `--S. uphamiW69
  Metacervulus astylodonAC98
  ‘Liops’ Gidley 1906 non Fieber 1870KA-Z11
  Nakunodon Yadagiri 1985A02
  Dinocyon thenardiV67
  Isodon Say 1822CW92
  ‘Cynocephalus’ Geoffroy & Cuvier 1795 non Boddaërt 1768C84
  Rhizoprion Jourdan 1861C84
  Sipalus Fischer 1813Z93
  Thylacodictis Mercerat 1891 (see below for synonymy)V65
  Viscacia viscaciaO05
  Platatherium pampaeumO05
  Pseudolestodon miloidesO05
  Chlamydotherium typumO05
    |--Delsatia Sigogneau-Russell & Godefroit 1997A02
    |--Kuehneotherium Kermack, Kermack & Mussett 1968RW12, A02 [incl. Kuehneon Kretzoi 1960 (n. d.)A02]
    |    `--K. praecursoris Kermack, Kermack & Mussett 1968S05
    `--Kotatherium Datta 1981A02
         `--K. haldanei Datta 1981A02
  Tribotherium africanumH98
  Meemannodon lujiatunensisMWL11
  Tapomys tapensisW96
  Shunkahetanka geringensisTS96
  Hitonkala andersontauTS96
  Alwoodia harkseniTS96
  Xenostephanus Simpson, Minoprio & Paterson 1962EH19
  Kiratherium cardiodensMH20
  Saccophorus quachilG43

Thylacodictis Mercerat 1891 [incl. Amphiproviverra Ameghino 1891, Protoproviverra Ameghino 1891 non Lemoine 1891]V65

*Type species of generic name indicated


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