From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Jeholbaatar kielanae
Mains level : Not Much
- Researchers have unearthed well-preserved middle ear bones from a new species of an extinct rodent that lived 145-66 million years ago in northeastern China.
- This finding may lead to better understanding of the evolution of hearing.
- The study looked at fossils of the extinct rodent-like mammal — Jeholbaatar kielanae — at Jehol Biota of China, and noted that these animals had a middle ear that is distinct from those of its relatives.
- The evolution of the rodent’s bones and muscles involved in hearing may have been driven by specialisation for hearing.
- The fossil clues provide solid evidence of the morphology and formation of the inner ear bones, which are fully detached from the lower jaw.
- In these extinct mammals, the evolution of the middle ear may have probably been triggered by functional constraints on the bones and muscles involved in feeding.