Temporal range: 160 Ma
Shenshou NT small.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Clade: Synapsida
Clade: Therapsida
Clade: Cynodontia
Clade: Mammaliaformes
Order: Haramiyida
Genus: Shenshou
Bi, Wang, Guan, Sheng and Meng, 2014
S. lui
Binomial name
Shenshou lui
Bi, Wang, Guan, Sheng and Meng, 2014

Shenshou is a genus of haramiyidan dating from the Oxfordian stage of the Late Jurassic, approximately 160 million years ago. Fossils were recovered from the Tiaojishan Formation in the Liaoning province of China.


The generic name is derived from Mandarin (神獸 shénshòu) shen, meaning deity, and shou, meaning animal, while the specific name is in reference to Lu Jianhua, the scientist who collected the holotype specimen.


Shenshou is thought to be arboreal because it had a light frame, a prehensile and elongated tail, and hands and feet which had evolved for clutching and enabled the animal to climb. These features, including the large incisors of Shenshou, made the animal resemble a squirrel. However, Shenshou are not the direct ancestors of squirrels, the resemblance being purely due to convergent evolution. Individuals are believed to have weighed 300 grams (11 oz). The presence of a three-boned middle ear suggests these animals were mammals; however, it has since been determined haramiyidans developed their ear bones independently from true mammals and are Mammaliaformes outside of the mammal crown-group. The teeth, which have a number of cusps, suggest that Shenshou was probably an omnivore, most likely with a diet of fruits, nuts and insects.

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