''Vincelestes'' ("Vince's thief") is an extinct genus of actively mobile mammal, that lived in what would be South America during the Early Cretaceous from 130—112 mya, existing for approximately .


''Vincelestes neuquenianus'' is the only species known to date. Specimens were found in La Amarga Formation of southern Neuquén Province, Argentina. The remains of only nine individuals were recovered from this site. The back teeth of ''Vincelestes'' were similar to those of therians in that they were capable of cutting and grinding. This enabled them to process food more efficiently.


Although not the direct ancestor of therians, ''Vincelestes'' is important because it gives an idea of what the ancestor of both placental and marsupial mammals might have looked like, and also gives an indication of when these mammals may have originated. Some studies inversely recovered the genus as an australosphenida, although current thought places ''Vincelestes'' as sister to marsupials and placental mammals.


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External links

3D skull of ''Vincelestes''
Category:Early Cretaceous mammals Category:Barremian life Category:Aptian life Category:Cretaceous mammals of South America Category:Cretaceous Argentina Category:Fossils of Argentina Category:La Amarga Formation Category:Fossil taxa described in 1986 Category:Prehistoric mammal genera {{paleo-mammal-stub