Triconodonta is the generic name for a group of early mammals which were the close relatives of the ancestors of all present-day mammals. Triconodonts lived between the Triassic and the Cretaceous.
Their name, meaning "Three conical teeth", is based on one of their fundamental characteristics. They had the typical morphology of the proto-mammals: small, furry, tetrapod animals with long tails. They probably had a nocturnal lifestyle to avoid dinosaur predators, coming out from their burrows after dusk to hunt for small reptiles and insects. However, recent evidence from China suggests that some triconodonts were indeed able to take on small dinosaurs..