Monday, March 16, 2020

Gagadon - Facts and Figures

Gagadon - Facts and Figures If youre announcing a new genus of artiodactyl, it helps to come up with a distinctive name, since even-toed mammals were thick on the ground in early Eocene North America (about 55 to 50 million years ago). Enter Gagadon minimonstrum, aka the Lady Gaga-toothed mini-monster, the lower jaw of which was discovered in Wyoming in 1988, but which wasnt announced to the world until May of 2014- presumably when paleontologists Richard K. Stucky and Herbert H. Covey deemed the roster of high-powered pop stars to be suitably impressive. (See a slideshow of 10 Real-Life Dinosaurs Named After Celebrities) The most notable feature of Gagadon was the unique accessory cusps on its teeth, which was doubtless an adaptation to its preferred grass diet (though presumably Lady Gaga herself enjoys a more varied menu). Described by Stucky and Covey as a dramatic departure from the other ungulates of early Eocene North America, these teeth were clearly a speedy evolutionary development, as early hooved mammals rapidly adapted to the changing conditions on earth a mere 10 million years after the dinosaurs went extinct. In fact, small, inoffensive mammals like Gagadon were fated to evolve, tens of millions of years down the line, into such varied creatures as elks, camels, deers and giraffes- rather the way Lady Gaga herself has spawned countless imitators, idolaters and high-powered pop stars. Name Gagadon  minimonstrum  (the Gaga-toothed mini-monster, after pop star Lady Gaga); pronounced GAH-gah-don  mih-nee-MON-strum Habitat Plains of North America Historical Epoch Early Eocene (55-45 million years ago) Size and Weight Undisclosed, but small Diet Grass Distinguishing Characteristics Petite size; quadrupedal posture; unique tooth structure

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