Here he is -- the first mammal. An anteater of bygone times. "Long furry tail, lived on insects."
That comes from the New York Times, along with this description:
Now either you're running to church (before some damn scientist says we're descended from star gases), for your assault weapon, or to a pet shop -- or you'd just like to know more. A lot more is here.
In a comprehensive six-year study of the mammalian family tree, scientists have identified and reconstructed what they say is the most likely common ancestor of the species on the most abundant and diverse branch of that tree. The work appears to support the view that in the global extinctions some 66 million years ago, all non-avian dinosaurs had to die for mammals to flourish.
A team of researchers described the discovery as an important insight into the pattern and timing of early mammal life and a demonstration of the capabilities of a new system for handling copious amounts of fossil and genetic data in the service of evolutionary biology. The formidable new technology is expected to be widely applied in years ahead to similar investigations of plants, insects, fish and fowl. ..NYT