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Temporal range: Late Paleocene, 55 Ma
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Clade: Holotheria
Family: Chronoperatidae
Fox, Youzwyshyn & Krause, 1992
Genus: Chronoperates
Fox, Youzwyshyn & Krause, 1992
Type species
Chronoperates paradoxus
Fox, Youzwyshyn & Krause, 1992

Chronoperates (meaning "time wanderer" in Greek) is an extinct genus of mammal whose remains have been found in a late Paleocene deposit in Alberta, Canada. It is represented by the type species Chronoperates paradoxus and known only from a partial left lower jaw.[1] It was first identified in 1992 as a non-mammalian cynodont, implying a ghost lineage of over 100 million years since the previously youngest known record of non-mammalian cynodonts, which at that time was in the Jurassic period (some non-mammalian cynodonts are now known to have persisted until the Early Cretaceous). Subsequent authors have challenged the cynodont interpretation, particularly as the teeth do not resemble any known cynodonts. Chronoperates is now generally considered to be more likely to be a late-surviving symmetrodont mammal. This would still infer a ghost lineage for symmetrodonts, but a more plausible one, as symmetrodonts persisted into the Late Cretaceous.


  1. ^ Fox, Richard C.; Youzwyshyn, Gordon P.; Krause, David W. (1992). "Post-Jurassic mammal-like reptile from the Palaeocene". Nature. 358 (6383): 233–235. doi:10.1038/358233a0. PMID 1630490.