The jaw of Siamogale melilutra, the giant prehistoric otter, (upper right-hand corner) has few weaknesses. Known as Siamogale melilutra, this newly discovered extinct otter was about the size of a wolf and had strong-looking jaws. Six million years ago, the shallow swamps of what's now southern China may have been dominated by massive, 110-lb. A giant, prehistoric otter’s surprisingly powerful bite. But when the team found the skull, special steps had to be taken to unlock its secrets. 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. This strength, paired with the creature’s size, would have made it a formidable hunter. It weighed about 110 pounds and grew to be the size of a wolf. “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. “It’s huge, it’s bigger than anything I’ve ever seen in terms of otters,” said Denise Su, the curator and head of paleobotany and paleoecology at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and an author of the paper that appeared Sunday in The Journal of Systematic Paleontology. But travel back six million years to the wetlands of southwestern China, and there roamed an ancient relative to these creatures that was more fearsome than adorable. A really, really big otter. It is often characterized by the adoption and use of riverine (or more rarely marine) shell-tempering agents in the clay paste.Shell tempering is one of the hallmarks of Mississippian cultural practices. The wolf-sized otter, which lived roughly 6 million years ago, weighed in at roughly 110 lb (50 kg) and had a surprisingly powerful bite. It weighed about 110 pounds and grew to be the size of a wolf. Prehistoric Otter Thoughts on prehistoric life. The ancient otters got up to 110 pounds (50 kilograms) in size. 16th Jan 2020 20th Apr 2020 andrewsimpson019. A large extinct otter, Siamogale melilutra, has been found in the Miocene Shuitangba site in northeastern Yunnan Province in China. Scientists have unearthed fossils believed to belong to a prehistoric, wolf-sized otter that once roamed south-western China some 6.2 million years ago. Daeodon is an animal that has had a lot of rather intimidating nicknames associated with it over the years. Mississippian culture pottery is the ceramic tradition of the Mississippian culture (800 to 1600 CE) found as artifacts in archaeological sites in the American Midwest and Southeast. AP Photo/John Minchillo Picture an otter and you’ll probably imagine a peaceful creature playing in the calm seas. It’s easy to forget that they use rocks to smash open shell fish. Read more in our, Pfizer Reports Good News on Fast-Spreading Strains, She Used It as a Step to Mount Horses, Then Took Closer Look, Identical Twins Have Telltale Genetic Differences, When Freezer Broke, Hospital Had 2 Hours to Use Up Vaccine, Delay the Second Shot? A comparison of all the otter jaw simulations revealed a linear relationship between jaw stiffness and animal size: Smaller otters had sturdier jaws. Researchers have just published a study about it. Marsupials (Marsupialia) The largest-known marsupial is the extinct Diprotodon, about 3 m (9.8 ft) long, standing … (Newser) – Picture an otter, then envision it ballooning to twice—or triple, or quadruple—its size until it's a 110-pound creature: It's not a journey into the imagination, but to yesteryear. An otter like no other. But S. melilutra was an outlier: The massive mammal’s modeled jaws were six times sturdier than expected. 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. Imagine wolf-sized prehistoric otters opening mollusks with their hands Sugar, a North American river otter, swims in its enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo. Prehistoric Otter Thoughts on prehistoric life. More information Giant otters the size of wolves Ancient Wolf-Size Otter Had Bizarrely Strong Bite Studies of the prehistoric swamp creature hint at a trade-off in sea otters between powerful jaws and tool use. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. (50 kilograms) otters that have since gone extinct. Major types include earthenware, stoneware and porcelain.The place where such wares are made by a potter is also called a pottery (plural "potteries"). monspesulanus was a leopard-size (about 65 kg) relative of … He speculated that the otter might have mostly preyed on the clams and shellfish, rather than on the large land animals that lived in the area. An illustration of Siamogale melilutra, a massive wolf-sized otter, in a forest setting. By CHARLOTTE HSU. The 13 living otter species are found throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa. sized prehistoric otter reveals much Sugar, a North American river otter, swims in its enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo. Cute, cuddly and covered in soft brown fur, otters look like teddy bears that can swim. But they were horrifying and awesome and probably gored an … Daeodon the Terminator . 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.. Published November 9, 2017. The details of the otter's prehistoric environment do not do much to help. The prehistoric 'otter' with a formidable bite: Kolponomos was as large as a bear with jaws like a sabre-toothed cat By Richard Gray for MailOnline 12:28 02 Mar 2016, updated 12:47 02 Mar 2016 Download a high resolution chart of heat maps of biting simulations of various otters' jaws. May 19, 2018 - Some of these massive beasts are familiar in form but enormous in size, while others are strange hybrids of modern-day animals. A team of scientists from China and the United States described the new species based on a cranium, a mandible and some teeth they found in a coal mine. 3 Minute Read Credit: Tseng et al., Scientific Reports, 2017 . The ancient "badger otter" is a far cry from the modern river otters of today. Prehistoric Otter Thoughts on Prehistoric Life. It is now the largest otter species known to scientists, and the skull of the extinct species had a large, powerful jaw. When scientists used computers to simulate how biting would strain S. melilutra's jaws, they concluded that the animal had much firmer jaw bones than expected, giving it a surprisingly strong bite. But S. melilutra was an outlier: The massive mammal’s modeled jaws were six times sturdier than expected. A giant, prehistoric otter’s surprisingly powerful bite. Xiaoming Wang, curator and head of vertebrate paleontology at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and lead author of the study, thinks it may have something to do with the large mollusks that shared its swamp. Or would it? It's possible they needed to "apply brute strength" from their large jaws "to crush hard shells," he tells Live Science. Picture an otter, then envision it ballooning to twice—or triple, or quadruple—its size until it's a 110-pound creature: It's not a journey into the imagination, but to yesteryear. AP Photo/John Minchillo Otters are pretty cute. With their visualization of the head, they could extrapolate how big the body was by comparing its proportions with that of modern otters. November 9, 2017 ScienceBlog.com. “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. S. melilutra was an otter. (Read more discoveries stories.). The otter, Siamogale melilutra, weighed about 110 pounds — bigger than any living otter. For roughly 400,000-450,000 years large Woolly Mammoth herds, consisting of mainly females, their young and led by a matriarch, would have been a common sight across Western Europe (including the UK, France and Spain), to Eastern Europe and Siberia, to Western North America. To better understand S. melilutra, Tseng and colleagues compared the prehistoric critter to its living counterparts.. This means that Lead researcher Xiaoming Wang speculates that perhaps these ancient otters hadn't learned how to use rocks, as modern otters do, to open mollusks. At 110 lbs. Jan 23, 2017 - Millions of years ago, a wolf-sized otter swam around ancient swampy China, scientists have discovered. (Newser) Dating back over six million years and weighing in at 100 pounds, these huge semi-aquatic mammals were thought to have once thrived in the shallow swamplands of ancient China. She says the bones were in such fragile condition that a physical reconstruction wasn't possible—so the team relied on CT scans and virtually reconstructed it instead. 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. It is the longest member of the weasel family, Mustelidae, a globally successful group of predators, reaching up to 1.7 metres (5.6 ft).Atypical of mustelids, the giant otter is a social species, with family groups typically supporting three to eight members. Typically, jaw sturdiness decreases as otter size increases. This strength, paired with the creature’s size, would have made it a formidable hunter. The end result revealed a head with badger-like dental characteristics, says Su, hence the animal's name. Monotremes (Monotremata) The largest-known monotreme (egg-laying mammal) ever was the extinct long-beaked echidna species known as Zaglossus hacketti, known from a couple of bones found in Western Australia.It was the size of a sheep, weighing probably up to 30 kg (66 lb). But they noticed during their examination that its teeth may have been useful for crushing prey. Remains of a 6.24 million year old otter, Siamogale Melilutra, has been found that is the size of a wolf. F r ai n B r ee z e (Frain ... saving the earth from a meteor the size of a small Washington suburb that was hurtling towards mid-western Prussia at 400 billion miles per hour. The 50-kilogram (110 lb) Siamogale melilutra wasn’t just big, it was a top predator with a surprisingly strong bite. Forums → Off-Topic → New Discovery Of Prehistoric Otters the Size of Wolves 2017-02-17T22:53:43+00:00. 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 analysis of the animal's jaws. But none are as large as S. melilutra was; the team thinks the otter measured about six feet long from snout to the tip of the tail and weighed about … 6 Million Years Ago, Otters the Size of Wolves Roamed China’s Wetlands. The researchers aren’t sure why the otter was so big. ... As a result the size estimates of Aepyornis is now considered to be a more modest 2.5 metres tall and 400-500kg in weight on average, which is still larger than any living bird! The ancient "badger otter" is a far cry from the modern river otters of today. Otters are carnivorous mammals that are adapted to hunting and living in and around water. Wolf-sized otters prowled prehistoric China. Three mustelid species could be found at Langebaanweg five million years ago. An artist’s rendering of Siamogale melilutra, an extinct otter the size of a wolf. The giant otter or giant river otter (Pteronura brasiliensis) is a South American carnivorous mammal. (50 kilograms), the animal would have been about twice the size of the modern-day South American giant river otter (Pteronura brasiliensis) and about four times the … Atypical of mustelids, the giant otter is a social species, with family groups typically supporting three to eight members. An artist’s rendering of Siamogale melilutra, a giant prehistoric otter with a surprisingly powerful bite.Courtesy Mauricio Anton. The remains of a giant-headed, wolf-sized prehistoric otter was discovered in a quarry in China. Bear + Dog = Amphicyon. The ancient predators are thought to have been around the size of a small bear, growing to be 4ft-long (1.2 metres) and 2.2ft-tall (0.6 metres), while weighing around 180lbs (82kg). 16-18 million years ago, a fierce predator roamed the North American landscape. The jaw of Siamogale melilutra, the giant prehistoric otter, (upper right-hand corner) has few weaknesses. We use cookies. You might have heard about that insane extinct otter that lived around 6 million years ago and weighed around 11o pounds—about as much as a wolf. Paleontologists have revealed the discovery of a prehistoric otter that was around the size of a wolf. Giant Prehistoric Otter Found—but Why So Big? – Get The Morning 8: The eight stories you need to know, bright and early. The researchers estimate the otter would have been about the size of a wolf and would have weighed around 110 pounds. Pottery is the process and the products of forming vessels and other objects with clay and other ceramic materials, which are fired at high temperatures to give them a hard, durable form. The otter, named Siamogale melilutra, weighed about 110 pounds, much larger than any living otter. The new prehistoric otter was the size of a … She said all the pieces were still there, the breaks were clean and the edges fit well with each other, so essentially what they had was a deflated cranium. Comparing this specimen to modern and other prehistoric otters, Su and her team found that “these bunodont teeth actually arose at least four different times within the greater otter lineage.” This means the teeth were not inherited by different otter species, but emerged because of convergent evolution – meaning they ate similar things. An international team of scientists has announced news of the largest otter ever found, one that lived some 6.2 million years ago and has been given the name Siamogale melilutra, the latter word a mash-up of the Latin words for "badger" and "otter." The ancient otters got up to 110 pounds (50 kilograms) in size. To “inflate” it, they performed a CT scan on the fossil and then digitally reconstructed it. 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 … 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. Put all these aspects of biology and lifestyle together, and what you get is an incredibly successful herbivore. 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. These hind limbs were also solid and dense, helping with buoyancy control, and it has been speculated that feet would have been webbed to further aid in swimming. Huge flesh-eating otter the size of a WOLF terrorised ancient swamps, scientists discover Vicious predator had a bite so powerful it could crush bones and would have been a terrifying hunter. The otter family dates back over 18 million years, but not much is known about these semi-aquatic creatures owing to the poor fossil record. Image: Mauricio Anton. Prehistoric Otter Thoughts on prehistoric life. 1100: Pueblo Bonito in Chaco Canyon reaches apex in size at 800 rooms; 1100: Hohokam culture reaches apex in present-day Arizona; Scandinavians briefly settled Vinland (likely l'Anse aux Meadows on the Canadian Maritime island of Newfoundland) early in the century and perhaps ventured as far south as New England. They shot a diamond made of iron at a car moving at 400 walls per hour, and as a result caused two … A really, really big otter. Cleveland Museum of Natural History researcher on team that found prehistoric wolf-sized otter (photos, video) Updated Jan 11, 2019; Posted Jan 27, 2017 Giant prehistoric otter 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). Vorombe Aepyornis and the Elephant Birds of Madagascar. Unicorns did exist. "A lot of times in modern carnivores, the large size is partly due to subduing prey, so their prey is bigger and the carnivores also get bigger," Su tells NPR. (Newser) – Picture an otter, then envision it ballooning to twice—or triple, or quadruple—its size until it's a 110-pound creature: It's not a journey into the imagination, but to yesteryear. Unicorns Did Exist. Two of them were gigantic: Sivaonyx hendeyi was an otter the size of a wolf (around 40 kg) and Plesiogulo aff. ... S. melilutra was an otter. Another of Aepyornis’ (and other Elephant Birds’) claims to fame is their humongous eggs. The key to figuring out how big the extinct otter was came from the fossil of its cantaloupe-size cranium. A digital reconstruction of a flattened cranium belonging to an extinct otter. G iant otters the size of wolves lived in prehistoric waters six million years ago, scientists have discovered.. November 9, 2017 ScienceBlog.com. it walked with its paws flat on the ground) and grew up to 2.5 metres long and… A large extinct otter, Siamogale melilutra, has been found in the Miocene Shuitangba site in northeastern Yunnan Province in China. It had a long snout and a long tail like a modern day wolf, but it also had a stocky build, powerful forelimbs, plantigrade feet (i.e. Where modern otters reach for … Scientists have found a fossil from an ancient wetland. A giant, prehistoric otter’s surprisingly powerful bite. In the future the team will test how powerful the otter’s jaws were, hoping to figure out whether the beasts were strong enough to break the large shells. The flattened fossilized cranium of an ancient extinct otter. The giant otter or giant river otter (Pteronura brasiliensis) is a South American carnivorous mammal. But none are as large as S. melilutra was; the team thinks the otter measured about six feet long from snout to the tip of the tail and weighed about 110 pounds. Some, like the sea otter or giant river otter, can grow to more than 75 pounds. This 110-pound swamp creature was roughly the size of a Rottweiler, and lived in what is now China’s Yunnan Province around six million years ago. Credit: Tseng et al., Scientific Reports, 2017 . Being large would have been evolutionarily advantageous for a creature that had to crush through hard shells for food. Around six million years ago, the wetlands and swampy forests of southwest China housed wolf-sized otters that could mess you up spectacularly. “It was squashed flat like a pancake because of the fossilization process,” Dr. Su said. The otter, Siamogale melilutra, weighed about 110 pounds — bigger than any living otter. 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. The researchers believe the creature was a mollusk-eater, which raises a, well, big question. The Thule people began absorbing the old Dorset culture in Arctic Alaska. North American river otters can get up to around 30 pounds (14 kilograms), though the endangered giant otter found in … Dr. Denise Su, curator & head of paleobotany and paleoecology at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, said: While the cranium is incredibly It had a long snout and a long tail like a modern day wolf, but it also had a stocky build, powerful forelimbs, plantigrade feet (i.e. The “terminator” and “hell” parts of its nicknames stem from its huge size, Daeodon was the size of a bison, and it’s grotesque looking face which possessed side flanges, bony bumps and fearsome looking teeth. The remains were found in Shuitangba quarry in 2010 by a team of Chinese and American paleontologists. 20th Mar 2020 20th Apr 2020 andrewsimpson019. Dr. Denise Su, curator of paleobotany and paleoecology at The Cleveland Museum of Natural History, discusses the discovery of a new species of prehistoric otter. A comparison of all the otter jaw simulations revealed a linear relationship between jaw stiffness and animal size: Smaller otters had sturdier jaws. A study led by the University at Buffalo found the large, prehistoric otter was likely a top predator with a shockingly powerful bite. Credit: Z. Jack Tseng . 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. These have ranged from the “Terminator Pig” (which makes me think of a pig wearing sunglasses and travelling through time on a mission to destroy!) A giant, prehistoric otter's surprisingly powerful bite . Download a high resolution chart of heat maps of biting simulations of various otters' jaws. “But we were lucky because it just sat there.”. When Westley and Buttercup ventured into the Fire Swamp in The Princess Bride, they came into contact with … The otter, Siamogale melilutra, weighed about 110 pounds—bigger than any living otter. The outsized otter, called Siamogale melilutra, weighed about 50kg (110lb) and measured up to 2 metres (6.5ft) long, making it bigger than any of its cousins alive today, the researchers said on Monday. Short hind legs reduce drag when swimming and diving through water and is something that other aquatic and semi-aquatic animals, such as crocodiles and otters, exhibit today. An otter wouldn't need to be wolf-sized—as Siamogale melilutra was, clocking in at about twice the size of the South American giant river otter—to eat mollusks. It is the longest member of the weasel family, Mustelidae , a globally successful group of predators, reaching up to 1.7 metres (5.6 ft). And … Many otters today, like the marine otter or North American river otter, are about the size of a small dog. Grow to more than 75 pounds the end result revealed a linear relationship jaw... Paired with the creature ’ s size, would have made it a formidable hunter northeastern. Otters today, like the sea otter or giant river otter, ( upper right-hand corner ) has weaknesses. The ancient `` badger otter '' is a South American carnivorous mammal giant otter or giant river otter Siamogale! Fossilization process, ” Dr. Su said cantaloupe-size cranium was an outlier: the mammal... Sea otter or North American river otter, Siamogale melilutra, this newly extinct... Cincinnati Zoo but we were lucky because it just sat there. ” new Discovery of prehistoric otters size. Or North American landscape scan on the fossil and then digitally reconstructed it of an extinct. Marine otter or North American river otter, Siamogale melilutra wasn ’ t sure why the otter, about! ' jaws in soft brown fur, otters look like teddy bears that swim. Fossil and then digitally reconstructed it you ’ ll probably imagine a peaceful creature in... Are carnivorous mammals that are adapted to hunting and living in and around water ( brasiliensis. Marine otter or North American landscape Pteronura brasiliensis ) is a social species, with family typically! Rendering of Siamogale melilutra wasn ’ t just big, it was a leopard-size about! Unlock its secrets skull, special steps had to crush through hard shells for.... ) otters that have since gone extinct dominated by massive, 110-lb massive. Culture in Arctic Alaska South American carnivorous mammal ) has few weaknesses a South American mammal. Flattened cranium belonging to an extinct otter was so big to allow cookies to the. “ but we were lucky because it just sat there. ” stories you need to know, and... Pounds ( 50 kilograms ) in size fierce predator roamed the North American landscape noticed their! ’ s surprisingly powerful bite evolutionarily advantageous for a creature that had to crush hard. Mauricio Anton for food skull, special steps had to crush through hard shells food. To figuring out how big the extinct species had a large extinct otter was from. ’ ) claims to fame is their humongous eggs, are about the size of a flattened cranium belonging an. Otters today, like the marine otter or giant river otter, Siamogale melilutra, an extinct otter named! Of mustelids, the shallow swamps of what 's now southern China may have been for... Swam around ancient swampy China, scientists have found a fossil from an ancient extinct otter was about the of., cuddly and covered in soft brown fur, otters look like teddy bears that can swim size of wolf! Head with badger-like dental characteristics, says Su, hence the animal 's name was the size Wolves!, 2017 - Millions of years ago, otters look like teddy bears that swim... Wolf-Sized otters prowled prehistoric China another of Aepyornis ’ ( and other Elephant Birds ’ ) claims fame. And the skull, special steps had to crush through hard shells for food since extinct. Ancient otters got up to 110 pounds ( 50 kilograms ) in size people began absorbing old... Otter the size of a wolf about 65 kg ) relative of … wolf-sized otters prowled China... An extinct otter, are about the size of a wolf another of Aepyornis (... A South American carnivorous mammal in the Miocene Shuitangba site in northeastern Yunnan Province in China atypical of mustelids the! Pancake because of the fossilization process, ” Dr. Su said it just sat there. ” when!: the eight stories you need to know, bright and early creature playing in the Shuitangba. The large, powerful jaw prowled prehistoric China Tseng et al., Reports... Researchers believe the creature ’ s surprisingly powerful bite, 2017 - Millions of years ago otters. At Buffalo found the skull, special steps had to be placed carnivorous mammals that are adapted to and... A head with badger-like dental characteristics, says Su, hence the animal 's name then digitally reconstructed.. Su, hence the animal 's name credit: Tseng et al., Reports! American paleontologists bright and early easy to forget that they use rocks to smash open shell fish surprisingly bite. Fossilization process, ” Dr. Su said but S. melilutra was an outlier: the mammal... Site, you agree to allow cookies to be the size of a 6.24 million year old otter Siamogale!, like the sea otter or giant river otter, are about the of. Its teeth may have been useful for crushing prey creature ’ s modeled jaws were six times sturdier expected. It a formidable hunter, a massive wolf-sized otter, Siamogale melilutra has. ) relative of … wolf-sized otters prowled prehistoric China just sat there. ” …!

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