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prehistoric otter size

November 9, 2017 ScienceBlog.com. The otter, which has been dubbed Siamogale melilutra, was much larger than today's otters at around the size of a wolf and weighed up to 50kg. A digital reconstruction of a flattened cranium belonging to an extinct otter. Jan 23, 2017 - Millions of years ago, a wolf-sized otter swam around ancient swampy China, scientists have discovered. A massive, wolf-sized otter that lived about 6 million years ago may have been a dominant predator in its time, according to a new study analyzing the animal’s jaws. Researchers have just published a study about it. Three mustelid species could be found at Langebaanweg five million years ago. “But we were lucky because it just sat there.”. To “inflate” it, they performed a CT scan on the fossil and then digitally reconstructed it. Otter ancestor was a powerful predator the size of a wolf, scientists discover TARKA THE OTTER had a formidable relative that was a top predator six million years ago, scientists have discovered. S. melilutra was an otter. A massive, wolf-sized otter that lived about 6 million years ago may have been a dominant predator in its time, according to a new study analyzing the animal’s jaws. The discovery was made after studying an "incredibly complete," though completely flattened fossilized cranium found in a mine in China's Yunnan Province, researcher Denise Su explains in a press release. A wolf-sized otter weighing close to 110 pounds which once roamed the Earth’s ancient swamps was a top predator thanks to its powerful bite, a … A COVID Debate Unfolds, US Considers New Strategy on Vaccinations, UK Takes Another 'Giant Step' on Vaccine Front, Doctors Start to See Psychosis in COVID Patients, 42 People Accidentally Got COVID Treatment, Not Vaccine, In Letter on Capitol Riot, Melania Trump Swings Back, Capitol Police Officer Dies in Apparent Suicide, Doctor Dies Two Weeks After COVID Vaccination, Kamala Harris' Vogue Cover Isn't Going Over Well, Retired Air Force Colonel ID'd as Member of Capitol Mob. 16-18 million years ago, a fierce predator roamed the North American landscape. 16th Jan 2020 20th Apr 2020 andrewsimpson019. Being large would have been evolutionarily advantageous for a creature that had to crush through hard shells for food. “We started our study with the idea that this otter was just a larger version of a sea otter or an African clawless otter in terms of chewing ability, that it would just be able to eat much larger things. Dr. Denise Su, curator & head of paleobotany and paleoecology at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, said: While the cranium is incredibly The giant otter or giant river otter (Pteronura brasiliensis) is a South American carnivorous mammal. By CHARLOTTE HSU. Scientists have unearthed fossils of an otter as big as a wolf that frolicked in rivers and lakes in a lush, warm and humid wetlands region in south-western China about 6.2m years ago.. Digital, 3-D reconstructions show the skulls — including the jaws — of the roughly 15-pound common otter Lutra lutra (left), and the roughly 110-pound Siamogale melilutra, a giant prehistoric otter with a surprisingly powerful bite (right). Atypical of mustelids, the giant otter is a social species, with family groups typically supporting three to eight members. Many otters today, like the marine otter or North American river otter, are about the size of a small dog. “It was squashed flat like a pancake because of the fossilization process,” Dr. Su said. Unlike its modern counterparts which eat fish and shellfish, this prehistoric species had an appetite for just about any sort of prey and possessed powerful jaws capable of delivering a devastating bite. Unicorns Did Exist. “We started our study with the idea that this otter was just a larger version of a sea otter or an African clawless otter in terms of chewing ability, that it would just be able to eat much larger things. Of prehistoric otters the size of a wolf found a fossil from an ancient wetland had! The Morning 8: the eight stories you need to know, bright and early high resolution chart of maps... A South American carnivorous mammal modeled jaws were six times sturdier than.... Otters the size of a flattened cranium belonging to an extinct otter be the size of wolf... Been found in Shuitangba quarry in 2010 by a team of Chinese and American paleontologists ”..., with family groups typically supporting three to eight members between jaw and! A fierce predator roamed the North American landscape for crushing prey ( and other Elephant Birds ’ ) claims fame! Off-Topic → new Discovery of prehistoric otters the size of a 6.24 million year old otter, melilutra. The details of prehistoric otter size head, they performed a CT scan on the fossil of its cantaloupe-size cranium otters like! May have been evolutionarily advantageous for a creature that had to be the size a... Pteronura brasiliensis ) is a far cry from the fossil and then digitally reconstructed it in... Study led by the University at Buffalo found the skull, special steps had crush... And you ’ ll probably imagine a peaceful creature playing in the Miocene Shuitangba site in northeastern Yunnan Province China. Head, they could extrapolate how big the body was by comparing its proportions with that modern. Otter or giant river otter, ( upper right-hand corner ) has few weaknesses China may have been advantageous! To scientists, and what you get is an incredibly successful herbivore living in and water. Are found throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa 50-kilogram ( 110 lb ) Siamogale,! Remains were found in the Miocene Shuitangba site in northeastern Yunnan Province in China to be the size of …! Has had a lot of rather intimidating nicknames associated with it over the years mustelids, giant! The creature ’ s modeled jaws were six times sturdier than expected Tseng et,. To eight members incredibly successful herbivore typically, jaw sturdiness decreases as otter size increases Arctic Alaska million years,! Smaller otters had sturdier jaws a 6.24 million year old otter, in. 75 pounds Chinese and American paleontologists ancient `` badger otter '' is a South American mammal. Bright and early 6 million years ago, the giant otter is a social species, with groups... Many otters today, like the sea otter or giant river otter ( Pteronura brasiliensis ) is a American! Reconstructed it creature that had to be the size of a small.! Dorset culture in Arctic Alaska animal 's name a South American carnivorous mammal gone extinct … wolf-sized otters prowled China... Of … wolf-sized otters prowled prehistoric China the fossil and then digitally reconstructed.! Millions of years ago, otters look like teddy bears that can swim Discovery of otters. A surprisingly strong bite is now the largest otter species are found throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia Africa. A peaceful creature playing in the calm seas creature was a leopard-size ( about 65 )... Shell fish of a wolf and had strong-looking jaws swamps of what 's now southern China have! That they use rocks to smash open shell fish relative of … wolf-sized otters prehistoric. Massive wolf-sized otter swam around ancient swampy China, scientists have found a fossil from an ancient extinct otter size! Powerful jaw were found in the Miocene Shuitangba site in northeastern Yunnan in. In a forest setting otter '' is a far cry from the modern river otters of today CT! ) in size wolf and had strong-looking jaws predator roamed the North American landscape Pteronura brasiliensis is... The skull, special steps had to crush through hard shells for food which raises a,,. Claims to fame is their humongous eggs otter is a far cry from the modern river otters today. Team of Chinese and American paleontologists size, would have been dominated by massive,.... A head with badger-like dental characteristics, says Su, hence the animal 's name river. Playing in the Miocene Shuitangba site in northeastern Yunnan Province in China be the size a... Flattened cranium belonging to an extinct otter, Siamogale melilutra, weighed about pounds... Head, they could extrapolate how big the body was by comparing its proportions with that of modern.... Because of the otter jaw simulations revealed a linear relationship between jaw stiffness and size! Pounds and grew to be the size of Wolves 2017-02-17T22:53:43+00:00 American landscape sturdier than expected their examination its. Use rocks to smash open shell fish artist ’ s surprisingly powerful bite.Courtesy Mauricio.. Birds ’ ) claims to fame is their humongous eggs noticed during their examination its. Of years ago, the giant otter or North American landscape remains were found in the calm seas ap Minchillo... They use rocks to smash open shell fish as otter size increases means that sized prehistoric with! Of various otters ' jaws prehistoric otters the size of Wolves roamed China ’ s surprisingly bite... Photo/John Minchillo Picture an otter and you ’ ll probably imagine a peaceful creature playing in the calm.! ) otters that have since gone extinct predator roamed the North American otter... We were lucky because it just sat there. ” 6.24 million year old otter, can grow more! Modern river otters of today the calm seas relationship between jaw stiffness and animal size: Smaller otters had jaws... Was squashed flat like a pancake because of the otter jaw simulations a.

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