The Inostrancevia.


The Permian period ended 250 million years ago, is the characteristic period of the great explosion of different vertebrates, also terrestrial wildlife and the emergence of future ancestors of mammals as we (and you too) and also the ancestors of past and prehistoric reptiles such as dinosaurs.

Our ancestor while superpredator of the Permian period was a Gorgonops (Gorgonopsid, a family of reptiles which is really more a mamíferol). How I explained earlier bad, if we saw a Gorgonops, probably would think it is a reptilian, but really its features are unique to mammals, such as hot blood ... in fact, it is considered our distant ancestor and that we are descended from it ... and you too.


Well, the largest Gorgonops, the superpredator of the period was the Inostrancevia (any of the 3 species). It was a hunter well developed, nearly 4 meters (13 ft.) in length. Intelligent compared with other creatures of the Permian. It walked to 4 legs, and moved similarly to the Komodo dragon, though its legs kept it at a slightly higher position and not dragged belly. Being able to reach higher speeds and close to 50 km / h.

The skull measured up to 50 cm and had teeth similar to the saber-toothed tiger ... fangs longer than about 15 cm, sharp and ready to hunt their prey. Besides its jaws were very powerful and with the force of its bite crossed Scutosaurus skin, the largest herbivore and was covered by a hard shell crossing.

Although extinct in the late Permian, about 250 million years ago, in the mass extinction of the Late Permian and early Triassic. We know enough of them. The numerous remains were discovered over 100 years ago in what is now Russia. And his name "Inostrancevia" refers to the famous Russian geologist A. Inostranceva.


STYRACOSAURUS


Within the family of ceratopsidae (those horned animals that lived in the prehistory), we can find some animals we know. Since Torosaurus (large and with two horns) to the Eotriceratops, Triceratops (always represented fighting a T. Rex and three horns) and Pentaceratops (smaller than the other two but with 5 horns) ...

As you can see, in this short list you can see that the number of horns increases between 2 and 5. At the end of the list more would see the ceratopsian horns, Styracosaurus, the protagonist of this entry.

The name means lizard Styracosaurus horns.

It had a horn on the front of the head, one big and long, but most of the horns, to which its name refers, are those found in the "wheel" of the head, a bone coating that protects the neck. A hedge that protects the neck from predators carnivores such as T. Rex. But the horns of Styracosaurus, not small bony protuberances, horns are up to 60 cm long and 15 cm wide at the base. This contained the snacks in the neck and the same also used for exposing himself to females.

So, this herbivore than 3 tons and 6 meters long would be therefore difficult to kill prey. Fossils found dead near ceratopsidae Tiranosauros like Styracosaurus who have tried to hunt. Hunt In Styracosaurus, T. Rex could be gored to death.

The horns and shells daubed the neck, the most vulnerable part of the animal, predators could not bite the neck without risk a fatal goring. The predator hunting tactics would try to turn the Styracosaurus and put belly up, where the T.Rex would find the most soft, unprotected part and away from the huge antlers.

This large herbivorous mid Cretaceous lived in what is now North America. And from afar, remind us a huge rhino with large spiked collar and long tail. Indeed, like other ceratopsidae, had a mouth shaped peak finished ... psittacosaurus reminds me.


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