''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 theria
ns 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
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.
3D skull of ''Vincelestes''
Category:Early Cretaceous mammals
Category:Cretaceous mammals of South America
Category:Fossils of Argentina
Category:La Amarga Formation
Category:Fossil taxa described in 1986
Category:Prehistoric mammal genera