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Temporal range: Late Cretaceous
|Reconstruction of Alphadon sp.|
Alphadon (meaning "first tooth") was a genus of small, primitive mammal that was a member of the metatherians, a group of mammals that includes modern-day marsupials. Its fossils were first discovered and named by George Gaylord Simpson in 1929.
Not much is known about the appearance of Alphadon, as it is only known from teeth. It probably grew to about 12 in (30 cm) and may have resembled a modern opossum. Judging from its teeth, it was likely an omnivore, feeding on fruits, invertebrates and possibly small vertebrates.
Taxonomy and classification
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- Wilson, G.P.; Ekdale, E.G.; Hoganson, J.W.; Calede, J.J.; Linden, A.V. (2016). "A large carnivorous mammal from the Late Cretaceous and the North American origin of marsupials". Nature Communications. 7: 13734. doi:10.1038/ncomms13734. PMC 5155139. PMID 27929063.