Who (or What) is Procerberus – #365papers – 2017 – 104

#365papers for April 14, 2017

Clemens, 2017, Procerberus (Cimolestidae, Mammalia) from the latest Cretaceous and earliest Paleocene of the northern western interior, USA: Paleobios, v. 34.

What’s it about?

Procerberus is a genus of mammal that lived mostly just after the extinction of the dinosaurs. There is some confusion about the distinctions among the several species of Procerberus and the relationship of this genus to other groups of mammals. This paper is about sorting that all out.

Why does it matter?

Taxonomy is everything in paleontology. If you can’t identify unique species, you can’t talk about adaptations or evolution or relationships or anything. Clemens summarizes nearly 100 years worth of research on Procerberus to help future scientists better understand what they are looking at.

Why did I read this?

My doctoral research was on Paleocene mammals and I referred to the work of Bill Clemens extensively. I felt like checking out what he’s been up to most recently.

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