A brand-new type of gigantic ancient herbivore would have eclipsed its family members!!
Fossils discovered in Poland come from a previously undiscovered species from the Triassic period, some 237 million to 201 million years back, scientists report. But unlike the majority of the huge animals who lived throughout that era, this brand-new animal isn’t a dinosaur– it’s a dicynodont.
Dicynodonts are a group of ancient four-legged animals that are related to mammals’ ancestors. They’re a varied group, however, the brand-new species is far bigger than any other dicynodont discovered to date. The elephant-sized animal was more than 4.5 meters long and most likely weighed about 9 tons, the researchers estimate. Related animals didn’t end up being that huge again up until the Eocene, 150 million years later.
“We think it’s one of the most unexpected fossil discoveries from the Triassic of Europe,” states research study coauthor Grzegorz Niedzwiedzki, a paleontologist at Uppsala University inSweden “Who would have ever thought that there is a fossil record of such a giant, elephant-sized mammal cousin in this part of the world?” He and his group initially described a few of the bones in 2008; now they have actually made the brand-new types—Lisowicia bojani — official!
The animal had upright forelimbs like today’s rhinoceroses and hippos, rather of the splayed front limbs seen on other Triassic dicynodonts, which resembled the forelimbs of contemporary lizards. That posture would have assisted it to support its huge bodyweight.
“The discovery of Lisowicia changes our ideas about the latest history of dicynodonts, mammal Triassic relatives. It also raises far more questions about what really makes them and dinosaurs so large,” says Dr Tomasz Sulej, Polish Academy of Sciences.
This provides the first evidence that mammal-like elephant-sized dicynodonts were present at the same time as the more well-known long-necked sauropodomorph dinosaurs, countering the previously-held belief. Sauropodomorphs include species like the Brachiosaurus and Diplodocus. It fills a void in the fossil record of dicynodonts and it also it shows that some anatomical features of limbs thought to characterize large dinosaurs evolved also in the non-mammalian synapsid.
Most exciting of all; these findings from Poland are the first genuinely substantial discovery of dicynodonts from the Late Triassic Period, found in Europe.