Vintana sertichi is an early groundhog-like mammal dating from the Late Cretaceous, approximately 66 million years ago. Scientists found the lone fossil, a skull, on Madagascar's west coast in the Maastrichtian Maevarano Formation.
|Life reconstruction of Vintana sertichi. Postcranial reconstruction is hypothetical.|
Krause et. al, 2014
Vintana is extremely relevant to our understanding of gondwanatheres thanks to the fact that it is the first well preserved skull, as opposed to previous fragments and teeth. Establishing a connection with multituberculates and haramiyidans in the theriiforme clade Allotheria, it is a rather unusual animal, possessing massive lateral flanges in its skull whose exact purpose is poorly understood, as well as massive olefactory bulbs. A rather large animal at a weight of 20 pounds, Vintana also represents another example of a considerably large Mesozoic mammal, alongside forms like Repenomamus and Didelphodon.
- Krause, David W.; Hoffmann, Simone; Wible, John R.; Kirk, E. Christopher; Schultz, Julia A.; von Koenigswald, Wighart; Groenke, Joseph R.; Rossie, James B. (2014-11-05). O'Connor, Patrick M., Seiffert, Erik R., Dumont, Elizabeth R., Holloway, Waymon L., Rogers, Raymond R., Rahantarisoa, Lydia J., Kemp, Addison D., Andriamialison, Haingoson. "First cranial remains of a gondwanatherian mammal reveal remarkable mosaicism". Nature. Nature Publishing Group, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited. 515: 512–517. Bibcode:2014Natur.515..512K. doi:10.1038/nature13922. ISSN 1476-4687. PMID 25383528.
- Drake, Nadia (November 5, 2014). "Fossil From Dinosaur Era Reveals Big Mammal With Super Senses". nationalgeographic.com. National Geographic Society. Retrieved November 5, 2014.
- Wilford, John Noble (November 5, 2014). "Fossil's Unusual Size and Location Offer Clues in Evolution of Mammals". New York Times. Retrieved November 6, 2014.