Leptictidium was a small, 90 centimetre long insectivore and opportunist, living at the beginning of the Cenozoic Era. It is known best from spectacular fossils in the Shale deposits of Messel and Geistel in Germany. Leptictidium lived mainly in the Palaeocene and Eocene Epochs of the Early Cenozoic Era, from around 55-40 Million Years Ago. Leptictids are known to have lived at the end of the time of Dinosaurs, and it is possible that the genus Leptictidium spanned from 75-40 Million Years Ago. Leptictidium was adapted to dense forest and jungle life, with a lifestyle of foraging for insects.


The family to which it belonged, did not survive the climate changes which changed the world from being covered in forests to more open environments - in spite of surviving the K-T Extinction and the DInosaurs before it. However, in its time, Leptictidium was a successful little forager that survived under the reign of the Terror Birds, such as Gastornis.

As the forests diminished, the Leptictidium became extinct, along with many of their old enemies, such as Gastornis. Even so, another explanation for their decline and disappearance, may be that they were replaced by more efficient foragers.

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