STL Science Center

STL Science Center

15 September 2013

Motherly Care

©Michael Long
Despite the questionable affiliation of Oligokyphus the general consensus on Cynodontia, mammalian and reptilian, is that the parents provided care for the young. Due to the generally accepted diagnosis of Oligokyphus as a reptile the common view that reptiles do not care for their young adds even more jumble to exactly what this animal was like. Very much mammal like but reptilian enough to be a reptile, would Oligokyphus have laid eggs and then cared for the hatchlings? Maybe it was the opposite, that Oligokyphus gave live birth and abandoned the pups. It is more likely that the first was situation was true with the parents bringing back food for the hatched (or maybe live born) young instead of possessing mammary glands with which to feed its young. As yet no carbon residue images or mummified remains have shown evidence to the contrary, but they would be quite the find if glands were discovered in Oligokyphus. Regardless of the nature of gestation of the young in this animal, some parental care is assumed to be apparent, and as such images like this are probably fairly accurate. Also kind of cute.

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