Sabor Tooth Vegetarian Found!

Embrace your inner geek! Become one with the world of Science & Technology.

Moderators: Moderators, Moderators, Moderators, Moderators

Sabor Tooth Vegetarian Found!

Postby DarthLocke on Tue Mar 29, 2011 7:29 pm

WASHINGTON -- Surprised scientists have discovered the remains of a saber-toothed vegetarian.

The leaf-crunching animal -- about the size of a large dog -- lived 260 million years ago in what is now Brazil, researchers report in Friday's edition of the journal Science. Its upper canine teeth were nearly 5 inches long.

Such large teeth are more often the mark of a meat-eating animal, used to capture and kill prey.

The enormous canines were likely used by the plant-eating animals to fight each other or protect against predators, said research leader Juan Carlos Cisneros of the University of Piaui in northeastern Brazil.

For example, they might have fought for territory, resources or females, like the modern musk deer, which also have a pair of large, tusklike teeth, he said via email.

"These situations are extremely important for the survival of an individual and the success of a species," he said. Discovering animals like this "shows us how nature is extremely creative in providing solutions for several life tasks."

In addition to its saber shaped fangs, the newly discovered animal named Tiarajudens eccentricus (tee-AH-ruh-HOO-denz ek-SIN-trik-us) had rows of teeth on the roof of its mouth for chewing, the researchers said. The lower jaw was incomplete, but they expect it would have had similar rows of teeth.

Tiarajudens was part of a group of animals known as anomodonts, sometimes called "mammal-like reptiles" and a major plant eater of their time.

The discovery provides novel insights into early tooth differences in these ancient animals and the evolution of plant eating and its complex social interactions, commented Joerg Froebisch of Humboldt University in Berlin, who was not part of Cisneros' research team.

The evolution of saber teeth is exceedingly uncommon in plant-eating animals, said Froebisch, calling the canines in the Brazilian anomodont "extraordinary."

He said the animal seems to belong to a new, unusual group of anomodonts that lived on the ancient southern supercontinent now called Gondwana. Before drift formed the present continents, Gondwana included what is now Antarctica, South America, Africa, Madagascar and Australia.

http://www.theeagle.com/nation/Saber-to ... rian-found


Just thought this was interesting.
Image
Image

Yet for all their evolution, they form no bonds.
Love does not exist for them. They are incapable of dreaming,
Of contemplating beauty, Of knowing something greater than themselves.
User avatar
DarthLocke
Show Expert
 
Posts: 7905
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:33 pm
Location: The Swan of Island's Past.
Gender: Female


Ads are removed for registered users






Ads are removed for registered users

Re: Sabor Tooth Vegetarian Found!

Postby Magic Box on Sat May 14, 2011 11:31 pm

It is interesting indeed. Maybe the fangs were used as nutcrackers too? ;)
ImageImage
Owner of Ben's red tie, Ben's Bendiana Jones outfit, Ben's bunny, and Ben's "Don't you read?" line.
User avatar
Magic Box
Emmy Winner
 
Posts: 4083
Joined: Sat May 31, 2008 4:03 am
Location: Near the polar bears, far from the Frozen Donkey Wheel
Gender: Female


Return to Science & Technology


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 16 guests

cron