Didelphodon – One of the largest mammals of its time

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Did you know?

Didelphodon has the biggest brain in its environment.

Vital statistics

Length:                                          approximately 1m

Weight:                                          up to 8kg (similar to a small terrier-like dog

Discovery:                                    named 1889

Distinguishing features:       robust jaws, bulbous cheek teeth, otter-like, badger-like or Tasmanian devil-like form

 Chronotex field observations

Like the Leptoceratops, Didelphodon is mostly a denizen of the Cretaceous night. It’s also a generalist predator, like some of today’s marsupials. Most mammals in the area are a lot smaller than Didelphodon, so it’s always fascinating to watch a larger mammal fighting for its place in a world full of dinosaurs.

We have no observations of it climbing, as it prefers to actively scavenge and forage at ground level. It prefers the lake shores and as a semi-aquatic creature, it occasionally behaves in an otter-like fashion, exploiting molluscs and other aquatic prey. Its skull is robust and reminiscent of mid-sized mammalian predators, such as the Tasmanian devil.

 Key facts

  • Member of an extinct group of mammals probably distantly related to marsupials
  • Has the biggest brain in its environment
  • Equipped with thick, robust jaws and teeth indicative of a predatory lifestyle
  • Big, bulbous cheek teeth suited for crushing or cracking hard objects
  • One of the largest Mesozoic mammals, similar in size to a badger and up to 1m long

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