Ancient slonomysh found paleontologists in Uruguay
Amazing discovery made by European paleontologists in South America. On the territory of Uruguay they found slonomysh – the unusual remains of an ancient rodent, which weighed about a ton and used his front teeth in about the same manner as elephants, according to a paper published in the Journal of Anatomy.
“We came to the conclusion that this animal used not only the incisors for biting and cutting food, but also for digging the soil and protection from predators. This is very similar to how elephants use their tusks,” says one of the authors of the opening, Philip Cox (Philip Cox) from the University of York (UK).
As noted by Cox and his colleagues, the remains of the ancient loomisi were discovered in 2008, Uruguayan paleontologists, however, until recently, no one gave importance, RIA Novosti reports .
When British scientists saw these fossils, they were drawn to the unusually large size of the animal, its powerful jaws and teeth. The authors took the skull to his laboratory and attempted to estimate the bite force of an ancient rodent, calculated his age and tried to evaluate the environmental niche in which he lived.
According to the calculations of paleontologists, this mammal, named Josephoartigasia monesi, was the champion Itin several categories.
First, it is the largest rodent in the history of the Earth — it weighs almost a thousand pounds, and its dimensions are this slonomysh resembled that of a Buffalo or other large hoofed animal.
Secondly, she had an incredibly powerful bite, and her jaw muscles had produced about 1,400 Newtons, which is comparable in strength to the grip of the tiger. In this case, most interestingly, its teeth were designed for bigger loads, 2-3 times higher than the force of the bite.
This fact led scientists to conclude that Josephoartigasia monesi could use the teeth not only to cracking of vegetable food, but also for other purposes.
As noted by paleontologists, slonomysh lived in South America recently — the age of her remains, according to their calculations, no more than three million years. Now the skull and other parts of the body of this rodent-giant can be seen at the National Museum of natural history in Montevideo, capital of Uruguay.