Believe it or not, even before dinosaurs existed, large, strange, and sometimes terrifying animals roamed the earth. A new example of such a strange creature has been discovered in the countryside of San Gabriel in southern Brazil. Pampaphoneus Vickai. Researchers studying the 265-million-year-old beast say it was probably the toughest, largest and most bloodthirsty carnivore ever seen in South America at the time.
“This animal was a ferocious-looking beast that must have evoked pure fear in everything that crossed its path,” said Roberts, a professor at Harvard University’s Museum of Comparative Zoology and author of a new study describing the animal. says co-author Stephanie E. Pierce.the creature said in a statement. “The discovery provides a key glimpse into the community structure of terrestrial ecosystems just before the largest mass extinction in history. It’s an exciting discovery that demonstrates the global importance of Brazil’s fossil record.”
The fossil was found in rocks from the Middle Permian period and contained a complete skull and several skeletons, including ribs and arms. This specimen is only his second of them. Pampaphoneus This genus is found in South America, but other similar specimens have also been found in Russia. The 15-inch-long skull is the largest of its kind ever found intact. At its peak, Pampaphoneus It would have weighed about 881 pounds (about the same size as an adult cow) and reached about 9 feet in length. A formidable Permian predator, to say the least.
[Related: Move over, Stegosaurus, there’s a new armored dino in town.]
of Pampaphoneus This means “terrible head” in Greek, referring to its thick skull and cry to the skull. This large animal family was the first. Non-mammalian therapsids to be scientifically described, and they nearly became extinct before the Kapitanian mass extinction event that preceded the Permian extinction. Therapsids are a group of vertebrates that are older than mammals and all their ancestors.
Brazilian Pampaphoneus They fill the same ecological niche as modern big cats, Felipe Pinheiro of the Institute of Paleontology at the Federal University of Pampa (UNIPAMPA) said in a statement. “This was the largest terrestrial predator that we know of that lived in the Permian period of South America,” the study co-authors added. “This animal had large, sharp canine teeth suitable for capturing prey. Its dentition and cranial structure, like modern hyenas, had a bite force strong enough to crush bone. It suggests that it was.”
Some of this potential prey has already been identified. last don and giant amphibians Konjukovia. But there’s still much to learn about this fearsome therapsid and its life before the largest extinction event in Earth’s history.