''Kollikodon'' is an australosphenida
, often classified as a monotreme
but more recently recovered as an outgroup. It is known only from an opalised dentary
fragment, with one premolar
and two molar
s ''in situ
'', as well as a referred maxilla
ry fragment containing the last premolar and all four molars. The fossils
were found in the Griman Creek Formation
at Lightning Ridge
, New South Wales, Australia, as was ''Steropodon
''Kollikodon'' lived in the Late Cretaceous
period, during the Cenomanian
age (99-96 million years ago).
Like ''Steropodon'', ''Kollikodon'' was a relatively large mammal for the Mesozoic
. The molars have a length of around 5.5 mm and a width of between about 4 and 6 mm (Clemens et al., 2003). Based upon these data, the potential body length could be up to a metre. Assuming the accuracy of such a guess, ''Kollikodon'' would be a contender for the largest Mesozoic
mammal known, along with other possible giants such as ''Repenomamus
'', and ''Bubodens
Aside from its size, it is difficult to say what ''Kollikodon'' looked like. It is certain that its teeth were specialised to crush food, being perhaps a shellfish
-eater or herbivore
. The description of the upper jaw showed that it was strongly specialised, with molars being subdivided into numerous rounded cuspules, some of which exhibit pits, possibly the result of crushing hard items.
Both ''Kollikodon'' and ''Steropodon
'' can be found at the Australian Museum
, along with Eric, the opal
''Kollix'' is an ancient Greek
word (κολλίξ) for a bread roll. The strange teeth of ''Kollikodon'', when seen from above, resemble hot cross bun
s, traditionally toasted and eaten on Good Friday
. Originally, Michael Archer wanted to name it "Hotcrossbunodon", but met disapproval from his associates.
* Flannery, T.F., Archer, M., Rich, T.H., Jones, R. (1995) "A new family of monotremes from the Cretaceous of Australia". ''Nature'' 377: 418-420.
Australian Museum online: Lightning Ridge
Opal fossils from Oz.
Some observations on ''Hotcrossbunidon''.
Category:Cretaceous mammals of Australia
Category:Prehistoric mammal genera
Category:Fossil taxa described in 1995