The Pentaceratops.



To end this year, 2012, best animal to learn that the prehistoric Pentaceratops. It could be any other, nothing would happen, but this is a little special. Basically, the reason that I consider this animal special, not because I have three horns and call Pentaceratops (5 horns), but because it is the largest land animal with the head of the whole story.

If someone calls you "big head" is because they do not know the Pentaceratops. An animal with a head of up to 3.5 meters (12 ft). A strong neck muscles full of robust bones embedded in supporting a large skull with a bone covered with thorns wheel and 2 meters (7 ft) in diameter. This collar bone was a formidable protector and a dominant male signal.

The Pentaceratops was taller and thinner the triceratops, less heavy, but a little higher. With strong legs, almost 6 tons, as a male African elephant, and 8 meters (26 ft) long. It, like other ceratopsians, was an herbivore and gregarious. With its enormous beak similar to a parrot, tore branches and bark to eat.

The Pentaceratops lived around the Campanian, Late Cretaceous 75 million years ago. Therefore triceratops existed before and not had to face with T.Rex. However, if you had the predator to Daspletosaurus or Acrocanthosaurus.

By the way, we see its curious name: your name means five horns and really have 3 is because it had two great apophysis (build bone) protruding from their cheeks. Views with meat, muscle and skin, these bumps closely resemble the bumps of the warthog.




Acanthostega



The Acanthostega is the oldest known tetrapod. Is Ichthyostega predecessor and successor of Tiktaalik. It is of the first vertebrates that poked their heads out of the water to see what had out and hunt insects and arthropods near water. Remember that a tetrapod is one animal that has four legs, and who uses them.

It is the oldest known tetrapod. It was the first animal that had the bone structure needed to walk out of the water. A structure, perfected, was the basis for all other tetrapods (amphibians, reptiles, mammals and birds).

How was this prehistoric animal?


Similar to Ichthyostega, no more than a meter in length and its legs were 8 fingers. And like Tiktaalik, the Acanthostega had a disembodied skull that could move while the body ... Unlike fish.

Like early amphibians, the first ones out of the water, his breathing was a simple combination of lungs and gills.

This evolution firstborn old, lived in the shallow waters of the Devonian, 370-360 million years ago.

A curious animal right?

Beelzebufo ampinga or Devil Frog.


To begin the week and make it more bearable, I had thought about an animal today, very curious, which was discovered 4 or 5 years ago and that is the physical evidence of a fascinating event happened on Planet Earth. This animal is called "Beelzebufo ampinga".

Beelzebufo ampinga the Latin "Beelze" means devil, "bufo" means toad and "ampigna" means shield. It is the largest frog discovered in the world. Beelzebufo lived 70 million years ago in the Cretaceous in Madagascar. It shared the world with some known dinosaurs like T-Rex, and although it was no match for them, thanks to their huge mouths, could hunt small dinosaurs, babies and eggs, and other amphibians.


It measured just over 40 cm (16 in) and weighed 5 kg (10 lb), actually the largest frog is the Goliath, with 30 cm and 3 kg (6 lb). The ampingade Beelzebufo skull is composed of a thick shell and their teeth were strong and sharp. Its bite was very powerful and huge mouth, about 35 cm (12 in)  wide. The detail of its mouth is very important, its mouth was large compared to other frogs or toads, in fact it was this characteristic that served to classify this "frog" in the group of prehistoric "Pacman Frogs" or Ceratophrys, a group of frogs living in South America and have a big mouth. And here the controversy.
The earth 80 million years ago

How can it be that the "Pacman" are from South America andon the other hand, locate devil frog in Madagascar?
In principle this creates a contradiction. 70 million years ago, the continents had already split and although nearer than they are now, it would be impossible for terrestrial wildlife pass from one continent to another without encountering miles and miles of ocean. However, some experts think that there was a land connection between South America, Madagascar, Antarctica and possibly to some 65 to 70 million years. It's the only explanation, and if so, "continental drift" was not in order and not in the mode that we were taught in the representations.

Proterosuchus



This post refers to the end of the Permian (250 million years ago), just as is produced the great extinction that wiped out 95% of life that lived the Earth.

We talked a little moment in the history of the Earth, but that influenced the species appear in the next million years. Let us see:

It is thought that the Permian extinction was caused by the continued and exaggerated emanations of lava and gases that literally suffocated the Planet. Some events that ended with the great synapsids that ruled the prehistoric Earth, and they were a kind of curious animals, with characteristics of mammals, but reptiles ... some are called "mammal-reptiles".
The peculiarity of these animals is that they were warm-blooded. And although in principle we think this is an advantage over cold-blooded animals, the truth is that at the decisive point of extinction, was a real problem. We must consider that for an animal to keep warm blood should eat up to 20 times more calories than a cold-blooded animal. A treat for a time when food was becoming scarce.


In a world dark and wounded animals that died were the first warm-blooded. Instead of cold-blooded animals could resist. Now when entrael Proterosuchus in history.

The importance of the survival of this genus (Proterosuchus) is that, because it, envolved all the dinosaurs and birds we know today. If Proterosuchus not have survived, probably we would not know either the T.Rex, or to Spinosaurio, or the Argentinosaurus.

And how was this prehistoric animal?

Well, to get an idea, the Proterosuchus was similar to a three-meter crocodile. Hunted in ambush near streams and lakes. Like crocodiles, his eyes on the top of his head to stalk their prey. The snout ending in hook.

Finally, gender is Proterosuchus in the history of evolution, an individual as important as what could be the Pikaia or Ichthyostega.

Bruhathkayosaurus measuring


As we have the latest posts dedicated to mammals, marsupials antique and prehistoric arthropods, the truth is that this time I wanted to speak again about dinosaurs, large reptiles ... titanic sized reptiles ... I love it!


The prehistoric animal which we will discuss today, is called Bruhathkayosaurus (which does not refer to a yoga posture which we might call "the reptile"). Its name comes from the Sanskrit bruhath (बृहत) "big, fat", and Kaya (काय) "body" and then, from the Greek meaning saurus reptile: the lizard of large, heavy body.

The Bruhathkayosaurus, and specifically the spice called matleyi, was a giant sauropod, titanosaurids-called. A titanic as the famous sauropod Argentinosaurus and Diplodocus: large herbivorous reptiles 4 legs, long necks and long tails.

By name, Bruhathkayosaurus, we can intuit that the bones have been found in India. And their fossilized bones can extract and calculate the dimensions of this amazing beast. Compare with the two other known sauropods.

The Diplodocus was 30 feet and 80 tons.

The Argentinosaurus 35 meters and 100 tons (some think more).

The Bruhathkayosaurus measuring 40 meters and could weigh up to 140 tons.


If one day we will be sure of the existence of Amphicoelias, Bruhathkayosaurus could say that would be the second largest dinosaur on Earth ... but since we are not sure of the existence of Amphicoelias we can say: the Bruhathkayosaurus, the animal was longer and heavier than ever existed. I will not get into an argument about its dimensions ... if yes, if not ... the point is that rivaled in size with the known Argentinosaurus. (sorry for the Argentines who were proud of the huge prehistoric animal bearing the name of their country).

Keep in mind that 140 tons is a lot, sometimes, we get lost in numbers and costs us get an idea of ​​the size ... for example, we can compare it with 21 male African elephants.


The Bruhathkayosaurus lived in the late Cretaceous period in the Maastrichtian, 70 million years ago in what is now the Indian subcontinent.

Sabertoothed vs Cave lion



At the end, when I put the title, I opted for the most striking title, but my intention was to title this entry: "Cave Lion, Sabretooth and Isthmus of Panama" ... for being this last element would change the configuration of these super-predators who lived North and South America. Let me explain.

Now, to get into this exciting evolutionary battle, we must consider two things:

1 - Today, the largest cat is the Siberian Tiger ... to about 105 cm and 220 kg.

2 - South and North America were cut off, separated by an ocean, and different species living in each of the old continent.

When in one place and at the same time coincide two similar species with similar characteristics and common prey, one of the two species usually be favored over the other. The species "loser" or disappears or should look other prey in other ecological niches that are not exploited by the species "winner". This, over the years can promote morphological changes occur in the species "loser" and then, the two species are no longer rivals to specialize each in their prey and their characteristics.

Well, this I had to tell you that you may understand better what happened between these two species: American cave lion (Panthera leo atrox) and the saber-toothed tiger (Similodon).

In the Pleistocene, there were these two species. The cave lion was king. It was clever, powerful, with a strong bite and we could say it was the super-predator. It weighed about 360 kg - 400 kg and no other animals, such as wolves, bears or other feline, was able to intimidate it. In fact, in its name we can appreciate the sentiment that created to its discoverers, atrox means terrible.

Then we have the second best, it was the saber tooth tiger (Smilodon fatalis), not that it was small. It was quite large and robust enough, maybe a little less intelligent and less social life. It weighed about 280 kg, so we could say that weighed the same as a Siberian tiger overweight ... but that does not exist in nature.

The cave lion weighed fourth part the sabertooth. And with that weight, this old lion, keeping at bay potential sabertooth. It would be like the African lion and leopard. The saber-tooth (as leopard) had to settle for smaller prey with other predators steal them and take care that they are not stolen and ultimately ... was content to be in the shadow of the Great Cave Lion .... But this did not last long ... the Sabretooth had his opportunity and took it.


In the mid-Pleistocene and in a process that lasted hundreds of years, North America joined with the south, forming what we known today as the Isthmus of Panama. This event is one of the most important, geologically speaking, of which have occurred in the last 60 million years. Varied weather gave way to global and fauna from north to south, and vice versa ... is called the Great American Interchange.

The first cross was the Smilodon fatalis. Over time and thanks to the lack of predators (thought) evolved a new species called Smilodon populator a kind to settle at the top of the food pyramid, a prehistoric beast weighing 450 kg, more robust and larger than not only its relative the Smilodon fatalis, but also that their "oppressor" of the north, the Cave Lion North America.


Two species maintained their reigns until a few thousand years ago, our ancestors probably met them, and some were killed in confrontations with these powerful animals: The Lion cave in the north and Sabretooth in the south.

Proborhyaena gigantea o marsupial Bear.

Image from http://vice12345.deviantart.com/

Until recently, the largest marsupial carnivore position was occupied by the Lion carnifex marsupial or Thylacoleo reaching measures similar to those of a lioness taking anabolic. But the new number one, the largest carnivorous marsupial, is now the marsupial Bear  or Proborhyaena gigantea. An animal that if we compared the marsupial lion with a lioness; we can compare the marsupial Bear with a grizzly bear ... perhaps hence the name ... (although his jaw broken bones as the hyena, that is also related to its name).

The Proborhyena could weigh up to 1100 lb (500 kg) and 10,5 ft. (3.5 meters) long, it was not very agile, but it was quick and short but explosive career, typical of large and heavy hunters. It was a carnivore with a peculiar teeth: its fangs were projected forward and also would not stop growing. This is complemented with robust skull, 60 cm long, and a powerful and muscular neck. So it is easy to imagine that when the marsupial bear biting their prey hardly escaped. It was like a pittbull but 40 times bigger.

Image from http://other-worlds.ucoz.ru/

Although some experts believe that usually, this prehistoric predator rather than hunt, began to steal prey from other predators (size permitting). And thanks to the wear of the teeth, experts have concluded that it was dedicated to crushing bones to eat: from animals hunted either carrion than it could take. The denture reminds Tasmanian devils now living today.


Taxonomically, is related to the Thylacosmilus, which we'll talk another day. It lived from the Eocene to the Oligocene in South America.

Pikaia



The Pikaia beings is one of the most important and that we should highlight, if we get an overall idea of ​​the exciting topic of evolution and prehistoric animals, I mean ...

Cambrian, 540 million years ago, at the beginning of the explosion of life that happened and all the various forms that appeared in the ancient seas. Appears then a small might just measuring 2 in (5 cm) long.  We're talking Pikaia.

This little creature would become the source of one of the major groups of animals to would be more successful throughout the history of Earth and ... where we also are included: vertebrates.

Lions, hyenas, falcons, whales, sharks, Allosaurus, Triceratops, Sabertooth, armored fish, gorillas and we owe our existence to this small, first vertebrate. We all come from it and was its advantageous morphology characteristic of vertebrates, which helped them survive, although it was a small animal compared to others of his time.


Well, Pikaia was not a colossus  or an apex predator in fact measured about 2 in (5 cm) long.

His body was flattened, hydrodynamic, which used to navigate near the ground where it fed, probably, filtering water particles.
Most characteristic of this small, prehistoric fish was that, unlike molluscs, which are invertebrates and some shelled, and arthropods with exoskeletons, the pikaia possessed the notochord, which is considered the evolutionary precursor of the column spine in all vertebrates.

This feature provided a fast, elasticity, speed with no other animals. Thanks to this feature, so it survived and was able to escape predators. Because the evolutionary experiment went well and that the Pikaia survived ... we are here.

Walking cactus (Diania cactiformis)


Today we are going to go back in time, we will go to the origin of complex life, until 520 million years ago when the first groups of animals (arthropods, mammals and molluscs) appeared on Earth.
In ancient seas, in the emergence of complex life (Cambrian Explosion) we find a rare animal, a creature that looks like a sketch of the creation ... as if evolution had thought - I'm going to put this together with this, to see what happens.
This prehistoric animal that seems from another planet, called Diania cactiformis, cactiformis means in the form of cactus, so its common name: The walking cactus.
The truth is that there is no plant. The experts believe that this curious animal occupies a far evolutionary empty, It is between worms and arthropods. With the discovery of this animal is evidence that the big group of arthropods evolved from worms. Among arthropods and worms, is walking cactus. Among the prehistoric arthropods more "famous" can find the Arthopleura, the Hurdia Victoria, the Anomalocaris or pulmonoscopius ... and now, the walking cactus, which is the oldest arthropod found yet.

The Diania cactiformis was small, measuring about 6 cm long and had a long, thin body, vermiform (worm-shaped elongated). His body was segmented with hard covering (exoskeleton), and body of arthropod born 10 pairs of spiny legs hard, sharp and thorny (hence the name of cactus). And you do not think it was like a starfish elongated, no. The walking cactus had jointed legs, was fast, and even experts think that could jump with some agility: he was a ruthless predator ... maybe I exaggerated when using the word "ruthless".



Anyway, walking cactus, it was a prehistoric ocean that lived 520 million years. It lived on the seabed of what is now the province of Yunnan in the Himalayas. Its marine fossils found in the higher mountain formation of the Earth. Another curious fact of which I speak.

Tylosaurus


It belongs to one of the three families of superpredators who know and who have inhabited the Earth: Pliosauridos, Laminidae Carcharodones (the megalodon), and to which it belongs, the Mosasauridae.


The Tylosaurus Mosasaurus species is more bulky and long, with the Hainosaurus, which is closely related. Reached about 50 feet long, and of course, has the essential characteristics of other mosasaurs:
- Adapted to water and reptile related to lizards and snakes today.
- Swimming at high speed because their members had had transformed into flippers and hydrodynamic body shape.
- Huge skull, up to 1.5 meters long ... and very strong high pressure allowing bite.

Certainly, other mosasaurs had a body a bit more robust. But Tylosaurus body allowed him to move with more agility and faster and almost no prey could escape its attack, also to be of a larger size, was fully capable of being the most terrible mosasaur ever.


Might well have reached the 8-ton of muscle. It was definitely one of the few marine superpredators that existed in the Western Interior Seaway during the Late Cretaceous. In fact, the stomach contents of specimens found to indicate that this ferocious Tylosaurus Mosasaurus had a varied diet. A diet that included fish of various sizes, sharks, smaller mosasaurs, plesiosaurs, and diving birds as Hesperornis.


Dinocrocuta



Well okay, I know that lately I talk a lot of hyenas, if the giant hyena or brevirostris, if Chasmaporthetes including I talk about the evolution LINK. But the animal from which I will talk today is not exactly a hyena, but almost almost (is in the same sub).Let's talk Dinocrocuta, which literally translated for me, means "Hyena terrible."

If the spotted hyena is an animal bite with a power far superior to that of other carnivores of the same size, Dinocrocuta, had a bite even higher. No broken bones, triturated like a herbivore grinds the beans and branches. You just have to take a look at his skull.




The skull was tremendous, huge, note that the strong mandibles look like an elephant but with fangs that look like projectiles. If you have that jaw so wide is to hold the attachments of muscles breakers incredibly powerful and if you have those huge fangs was to withstand the great pressure exerted by the jaws. Possibly one of the largest land mammals with bite force of all time, rather than the Megistotherium, the Androwsarcus and equating to Daeodon or pork terrible.


But this skull to hold the neck and body should be titanic. It is estimated that weighed up to 400 kg (1200 lb). Maybe that will not say anything, but keep in mind that the hyena does not exceed 90kg now, and the lions of Africa, do not exceed 300 kg (900 lb). It is true that during the Miocene, there were other large predators and large herbivores that had fed. And the best thing to have an idea, it's back to the comparisons:

Lion, Dinocrocuta, Cave Lion and  Cave Bear.

As shown in the picture, the skull of Dinocrocuta is almost as big as the cave lion and almost the same as the Cave Bear ... but if you look properly on, will see that the bones are more robust. This means that it was perhaps a top predator of its time.

As I said, the Dinocrocuta lived in the late Miocene in Africa, Asia and Europe. And actively hunted large animals, herbivores and carnivores. Animals like the woolly rhinoceros (which bones have been found with tooth marks posilizados of Dinocrocuta cured, so it is given an active role in not only hunting and predator) the Paraceratherium, the Platybelodon, Calicoterios Anisonodon and even the great mammoth.

Stygimoloch Spinifer


The image you see, is not an evolved Pokemon, or any other animal picture Japanese manga. That which you see is the drawing, a more or less like a real dinosaur, a dinosaur that is listed as one of the strangest-looking dinosaurs ever found there.

The name of this prehistoric animal is Stygimoloch Spinifer, meaning "thorny devil from the river of death" (intriguing name). He was a member of the family of the pachycephalosaurs, this means that family was the "dinosaurs thick heads" (translation mine). Finally, the most characteristic of Stygimoloch Spinifer was that, his head. His skull was not as thick as other pachycephalosaurs, very well, but has a large number of horns, horns on his head on the muzzle, on the back of the skull and other parts of the face ... On the horns, the experts still do not agree on whether they were to defend themselves, to show off to fight with others of the same species as do the deer, etc.. From what I think so we will agree (experts and mortals ) is that the horns give it looks fantastic, like the dragons of the films. In fact I think the first who drew dragons, were inspired by this animal ... but hey, back to real dinosaur.



The Stygimoloch Spinifer was a herbivore that measured just over 3 meters long and about 2 meters high. He had small front legs but instead the rear were long and strong, so considering that it was agile and quick. In fact, he could inhabit the same ecological niche as a deer or an impala in Africa today ... the only thing that did not live back then lions, but Tyrannosaurus Rex.


He lived in the Late Cretaceous (70 million years ago) in North America. And disappeared probably because of the large meteorite that caused the Cretaceous mass extinction.

From Miacis to the hyena.


A few days ago, I was watching the documentary typical of Africa, with its eternal battles between lions and hyenas, when something caught my attention. Early in the documentary, the narrator describing for the umpteenth time the hyenas, he said these were animals that were closer, evolutionarily speaking, a cat than a dog. I found it very funny because hyenas are very similar to dogs, even as they live in herds, ... that's when I started researching, from the beginning (or almost).

We talked of Miacis, the "animal mother", the ancestor of both dogs and cats (both as feliforms Caniformes. Following the storyline, we find gender Prionodon a split where the two genera of felids (where is the Smilodon or saber-toothed tiger and) and barbourofélidos, coming at last to viverrids (the picture above). This name is very important, viverrids developed at the end of the Eocene and they are the ancestors of hyenas and genets (Hyaenidae, Herpestidae, Eupleridae).
I imagine that no need to explain the differences between  Caniformia and Feliformia , shaped like a dog or cat shaped, with long snouts and claws fixed or short snouts and retractable claws ... but really, the peculiarity that differentiates these two groups is that the auditory bullae have their feliforms (bony capsules enclosing the middle and inner ear). This is a key to the diagnosis in the classification of species as Feliforme versus Caniforme. In the auditory bullae are feliforms dual chamber composed of two bones joined by a partition. The Caniformes has a single chamber or partially divided auditory bullae, composed of a single bone.

So it is true that the hyena (like all such) come from Miacis, and that is nearer to a big cat than a wolf. Although it is true that is nearer to a genet, a ferret or a tiger. Certainly within the family Hyaenidae we can also find the Hyena giant extinct.

The appearance of the viverrids was like a genet but more slender, had the sharp nose, long neck, tail as long as the rest of the body and dentition hipercarnívora (carnassial teeth, which cut the flesh the way scissors) which is not known is if your hair was streaked, spotted or brown uniform color. It lived in the Eocene and the two species are present linsang striped and spotted linsang.

I present a video of one of a genet, a representative living with an appearance similar to the first Feliformia  ... (precursors of the hyenas, cats, tigers or genets and weasels), perhaps this is greater.

Chasmaporthetes



This prehistoric animal is an animal very curious. Due to the different characteristics was an animal uncommon, and is called Chasmaporthetes, although not really a distinct species, it really is the family of a peculiar group of hyenas. Chasmaporthetes size is about 1 meter (3,3 ft) tall at the withers and an average of 80 kg (170 lbs). To get an idea, would be as large as the spotted hyenas that appear in documentaries in Africa but, more graceful, slightly taller and less robust.

The two main features of this hyena are:


First, their teeth. The Hyaenidae are characterized by a modified dentition for intervention on the hard tissues of the mammalian skeleton, and this is because most species are scavengers. However, representatives of the genre were primarily hunters Chasmaporthetes. I remember talking about the kind of prehistoric hyena Pachycrocuta (giant hyena), had a bite so powerful, so strong teeth and was so great that I could grind up the bones of elephants, LINK.

But back to what we want. When the experts found the jaw of Chasmaporthetes began to think that this species were mostly carrion, but rather active predators. To understand the difference, we could say that their molar teeth were made to cut, and not crushed. Something like the current cats, they are better equipped to hunt than to live on carrion.

The idea that predators were reinforced when analyzing its skeleton, found that their physiology was specialized in speed. Experts think that the Chasmaporthetes could reach up to 100 km / h (64 mll/h) and had to compete with the giant cheetah Acinonyx pardinensis of the time. Her long legs and slender body adapted to the speed, gave him a look that is classified in the group of hyena-like dogs ... talk about it another day.


Secondly, its distribution. We are accustomed to seeing the hyenas in Africa or South Asia and is easy to think that we in the east half and the Strait of Gibraltar, the hyenas could colonize Asia and Europe. For example, in Europe was the spice Chasmaporthetes lunensis. Well, another species, called Chasmaporthetes australis was the only species of hyena that through the Bering Strait colonized all of North America. This may not tell you much but it was this species, the swift hunter hyena, hyena more common around the world and of all time (although it is hardly known today). Lived parts of the world more than any other hyena, whether extinct or still alive.

Chasmaporthetes is a genus that lived in Europe, Asia, Africa and North America about 15 million years ago during the Miocene. In short, a sort of prehistoric animal that I thought you would like to know if you love animals, prehistoric or not.

Rhamphosuchus crassidens.


Today we will talk of the largest crocodile that ever lived. More than the Sarcosuchus Imperator and the Deinosuchus, which are of similar size (15 meters) and weighs about the same (9 tons) ... dimensions not insignificant by comparison with the currently largest crocodile, the marine crocodile weighs 1.5 tonnes  and 6 meters long.



The name of this giant prehistoric crocodile is Rhamphosuchus crassidens, "crocodile-peak". Rhamphosuchus crassidens is the largest species of a genus of which we speak: gender Rhamphosuchus and is an extinct relative of the False gharial, a crocodile of the family Crocodylidae  with a thin elongated snout. Although the False gharial is 4 meters and weighs 250 kg, whereas the Rhamphosuchus crassidens is 18 meters long (although other estimates do not exceed 15 m) and 1 tons. An aquatic animal although very heavy to move nimbly on land, in ponds and marshes became the superpredator of water during the Miocene Epoch in the Indian continent.



Due to the size, strength and width but also elongated snout, the Rhamphosuchus crassidens could devour prey larger and more varied than today's crocodiles Tomistominae subfamily (such as the False gharial). The variety and development of the Miocene ungulates were a valuable contribution to the diet of this prehistoric animal. Among their prey could find elephants, antelopes, deer-like animals, giant pigs, horses with huge claws, camels, rhinos, crocodiles and even other great apes and the orangutan or an ancestor of ours: the great and strong Gigantopithecus. All the animals who came to drink. Possibly, their diet was changing as he grew older, because while their size increased so did his jaw and of course his power and, at first had to settle mainly fish and small vertebrates. Even then devoured everything that breathed.

Mammuthus creticus. The dwarf mammoth.


 When you tell a woman that looks like a mammoth, she'll think you're saying fat, at least. But if you tell a man, surely he will think you are calling strong and big ... and perhaps hairy. But that's not true, not all mammoths were large and strong and hairy. We saw that some mammoths reached 5 meters in height and 9 long and weighed 12 tons. We referred to the largest species, the Sungari mammoth ("Mammoth Songhua River"). But like I said, there are different species. Possibly the smallest species of the order of the Proboscidea (Mammoth) is the Mammuthus creticus which as its name suggests, lived on the island of Crete.
Lived 3.5 million years ago on the island. And "If you could rebuild, it would be like a baby elephant, but stouter, with thicker members and look chubby. Would have had a lock of adult tusks," Herridge said in a statement from the Natural History Museum in London.

Not exceed one meter high, and basically be like an adult but about 5 times smaller and lighter, and less hairy.
Apparently, size dwarf was a response to the lack of resources of the islands, because apart from Crete remains have been found in other Mediterranean islands.

Another adaptation to the climatic characteristics of the Mediterranean islands, was the removal of the protective layer of hair. It had hair like his predecessors. Keep in mind that the climate of this island is quite pleasant and seldom falls below zero.

The colonization of the Mediterranean islands occurred in successive drainage schemes in the Mediterranean, up to 10 times in the last 6 million years, or lowered sea level, which facilitated the passage between them and the European continent.




Ambulocetus.



One of the most curious of the fascinating world of evolution is the change that antique land mammals staged to enter a world of water in seas and oceans, and that over time, evolved and became what is now the animal in the world: the blue whale.

The mammal most representative of the change of land to water is the Ambulocetus (Ambulocetus natans) which together with others of the same genus shows how did this peculiar evolution.

This animal was baptized thoroughly. Your name (Ambulocetus) literally means "walking whale." And it was called so because it has traits of cetaceans. For example: it has no external ears, but special ones like whales, and also had some adaptation in the nose that kept eating even submerged, not swallow water.

Ambulocetus was no more than three meters, and having no external ear, is thought to be similar to hunting crocodiles. This animal was receiving at the soft part of his body vibration of animals came to drink water or other pass you by.

Instead, it swam like a crocodile, but rather as a whale or an otter, that is, moving the vertical tail and wavy. Moreover, not walk out of the water like this, their legs were straight, like those of a grizzly bear.

This prehistoric animal, half way between terrestrial and aquatic mammals, lived 50 million years ago (middle Eocene) in what is now Pakistan, which once stood in the Indian Ocean.

This video is in French (I have not found anything better), but it looks good.



Paraceratherium



You're going to learn today that was the largest mammal known throughout history: the Paraceratherium or "near horned".

It is larger and heavier than mammoth or mastodon, larger than the Anisodon or the Giant Sloth.

WANT DETAILS?


 ESPECIES 
 MAMUT 
 MASTODONTE 
 ANISODON 
 MEGATERIO 
 PARACERATERIO 
HEIGHT  5,5 METERS  4 METERS  3 METERS  6 METERS  7 METERS
WT  10 TONS  6 TONS 3 TONS 7 TONS  15 TONS
LONG  9 METERS (con trompa) 5 METERS 3,5 METERS  6 METERS  8 METERS

Well, the Paraceratherium is a cousin of present rhino, and like this, was an herbivore, but not grazed. Its large size enabled him to eat the leaves of the tallest trees. As in the case of current rhino, his eyesight was not as developed as smell, in fact, your nasal passages were larger than its brain. That's this brainiac size (relative to its body) that is thought to not maintain complex social relationships as African elephants today. 

Large, heavy, and with a body that produces much heat, hairless skin and like the white rhino. His legs were strong and it is thought that through these, they could defend themselves from predators. The animals of this kind appeared in Central Asia during the first half of the Oligocene period, approximately thirty million years, and became extinct in the mid-Miocene period, 16.6 million years ago.




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