Ancient rats may be among our ancestors. Creationists bothered by the thought of humans descending from apes won't like this one bit. After a six-year study of the mammal family tree, scientists now believe that many mammalian species (people included) originated with a tiny rat-like creature that crawled the Earth tens of millions of years ago. Fossils of the Protungulatum donnae look like the best ancestor candidate for the mammal family tree extending back 66 million years, and they preserve evidence that the creature weighed around eight ounces, had a long fuzzy tail, and ate bugs. Maureen A. O’Leary, the Stony Brook University anatomist who led the project, says, "The findings were not a total surprise. But it’s an important discovery because it relies on lots of information from fossils and also molecular data."
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