June 24, 2019

Sabre-tooth vegetarian animal discovered

This artists impression of Tiarajudens Eccentricus looks like a bit like an extra from the Muppets show.

Scientists in Brazil have discovered the remains of a sabre-toothed vegetarian animal that lived around 260 million years ago.

The leaf-crunching creature, about the size of a large dog, lived in what is now Brazil. Its upper canine teeth were nearly 12.7 centimetres long. This is not standard equipment for vegetarians.

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

Their discovery was shared in the latest edition of Science. Researchers think the enormous canines were probably used by the animals to fight each other or protect against predators, according to research leader Juan Carlos Cisneros of the University of Piaui in north-eastern Brazil.

“For example, they might have fought for territory, resources or females, such as the modern musk deer, which also have a pair of large, tusklike teeth”, he said. Yeah with you there professor Juan Carlos mate, those Musk Deer – vicious eh.

“These situations are extremely important for the survival of an individual and the success of a species,” he said. So that explains why humans are fighting all the time for weird reasons. We beat the crap out of each other and it helps the success of our species.

Discovering animals like this “shows us how nature is extremely creative in providing solutions for several life tasks.” Professor Cisneros said.

In addition to its sabre-shaped fangs, the newly discovered animal, named Tiarajudens Eccentricus, had rows of teeth on the roof of its mouth for chewing, the researchers said.

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

Newswarped is not afraid to ask the tough questions. So how after 260 million years do we know it was a plant eater? “My what big fangs you have for a vegetarian” said pre-historic Miss Riding Hood.

Yes newswarped knew you wondered what a Musk Deer looked like. Here it is - Bambi with fangs.