Archaeologists discover saber-toothed vegetarian

Mar 24, 2011 By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID , AP Science Writer
This undated handout artist rendering provided by the journal Science shows a life reconstruction of the head of Tiarajudens eccentricus from the Permian of Brazil. Surprised scientists have discovered the remains of a saber-toothed vegetarian. The leaf-crunching animal lived 260 million years ago in what is now Brazil. (AP Photo/Science)

Surprised scientists have discovered the remains of a saber-toothed vegetarian.

Researchers report that the leaf-crunching animal lived 260 million years ago in what is now Brazil. It was about the size of a large dog and had nearly 5-inch long canine teeth.

The research team notes that large saber-shaped canine teeth are unexpected in a plant-eating animal. They say the enormous teeth may have been for self-defense or for battling for territory or females.

The creature is known as Tiarajudens eccentricus (tee-AH-ruh-HOO-denz ek-SIN-trik-us).

The researchers report on their discovery in Friday's edition of the journal Science.

Explore further: 550-million-year-old fossils provide new clues about fossil formation

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User comments : 7

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Bobathon
2.3 / 5 (4) Mar 24, 2011
so... going to tell us what it is, or do we guess?

isitaturtle?
Thrasymachus
3 / 5 (5) Mar 24, 2011
It loved 260 million years ago, on land, and was the size of a dog. I'm going to make a wild guess and say it's some kind of dinosaur.
Bobathon
5 / 5 (7) Mar 24, 2011
Ok... apparently it's a therapsid.

http://cosmiclog....ater-had

The amniotes (reptiles birds mammals) can be divided into two clades - synapsids and sauropsids.

Dinosaurs and birds and all living reptiles are sauropsids.

This chap is one of the synapsids, as are we. Synapsids appear to include lots of extinct reptilian-looking things, but there are no members of the synapsids alive today apart from mammals.

Around 270 million years ago, our ancestors were also therapsids, though presumably not these guys. But they're far more closely related to us than they are to reptiles.

There we go... I didn't know that before.
jtdrexel
1 / 5 (1) Mar 25, 2011
It loved 260 million years ago, on land, and was the size of a dog. I'm going to make a wild guess and say it's some kind of dinosaur.


*Lived
dollymop
not rated yet Mar 26, 2011
it always has to be fighting for territory or females! maybe it dug up roots to eat, or snagged branches to munch on.
Chevyzilla
5 / 5 (1) Mar 30, 2011
Yeah because a vegetarian really needs sabre teeth huh,and to think you people really fall for this stuff. Next they will be telling us that they have founnd evidence of a vegan T-Rex. Oh i forgot, reptiles came from birds. Ahaaa haaa haaa. Stop me from laughing before i pass out. Boy you evolutionists really crack me up. Thanks, i needed a good laugh to get my day started. I guess ignorance is bliss,,,wait a minute no its not, its IGNORANT.
PaulieMac
3 / 5 (2) Mar 30, 2011
lol... 'You evolutionists'?

Well, come on then mate, give the rest of us a chuckle, and let us know what it is you believe? A 6,000 year old earth by any chance?

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