Evidence of Ancient Cow from India
A team of scientists from Northern India working in the Narmada river valley have unearthed evidence of a prehistoric mammal, an ungulate (hoofed mammal), from the very end of the age of the Dinosauria.
The Narmada valley is a well known geological site with an extensive range of exposed strata dating back to the Late Cretaceous and the Palaeocene. The scientists discovered a single 2.5 cm long tooth in sediments estimated to be 65 million years old. Comparing the tooth to living mammals the team has speculated that it could belong to a cow-like mammal.
Teeth are made from enamel, which is the hardest substance in the bodies of vertebrates, and excellent material for preservation and fossilisation. Mammalian teeth have many distinctive characteristics when compared to reptilian dentition, indeed broad generalisations can be made between placental and monotreme mammals based on the crown shape and structure of single finds such as this one.