Giant Prehistoric Rodent Had Titanic Teeth, And They Weren’t Just For Biting

giant rodent

When scientists discovered the fossilized skull of a huge prehistoric rodent six years ago in Uruguay, they could tell right away that the extinct buffalo-sized creature had freakishly large incisors.

But a new analysis of the specimen of Josephoartigasia monesi — believed to be the “the largest rodent ever to have lived” — reveals that this ancient relative of the guinea pig used its gigantic teeth for more than delivering a powerful bite.

“We concluded that Josephoartigasia must have used its incisors for activities other than biting, such as digging in the ground for food, or defending itself from predators,” Dr. Philip Cox, a professor of physiology at the University of York and Hull York Medical School in England, who led the research, said in a written statement. “This is very similar to how a modern day elephant uses its tusks.”

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Comparison of a silhouette of Josephoartigasia monesi with a person and a drawing of a modern-day pacarana, its closest living relative.

Josephoartigasia monesi is believed to have lived in South America around 3 million years ago and to have weighed around 1,000 kilograms.

For their analysis, the researchers used CT scans of —> Read More Here


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