First monotreme from the Late Cretaceous of South America

Nicolás R. Chimento, Federico L. Agnolín, Makoto Manabe, Takanobu Tsuihiji, Thomas H. Rich, Patricia Vickers-Rich, Fernando E. Novas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Monotremata is a clade of egg-lying mammals, represented by the living platypus and echidnas, which is endemic to Australia, and adjacent islands. Occurrence of basal monotremes in the Early Cretaceous of Australia has led to the consensus that this clade originated on that continent, arriving later to South America. Here we report on the discovery of a Late Cretaceous monotreme from southern Argentina, demonstrating that monotremes were present in circumpolar regions by the end of the Mesozoic, and that their distinctive anatomical features were probably present in these ancient forms as well.

Original languageEnglish
Article number146
Number of pages6
JournalCommunications Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023

Cite this