News From the Field
Long-sought Fossil Mammal With Transitional Middle Ear Found
April 13, 2011
A new, complete fossil from China published this week in Nature turns what's known about the evolution of early mammals on its ear. The specimen shows the bones associated with hearing in mammals--the malleus, incus and ectotympanic--decoupled from the lower jaw, as had been predicted, but were held in place by an ossified cartilage that rested in a groove on the lower jaw.
American Museum of Natural History
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