You know what’s terrifying? A giant rodent. You know what’s more terrifying? A giant rodent that uses its massive buck teeth to beat you up.
According to a study published Tuesday in the Journal of Anatomy, the largest rodent fossil ever found — the South American Josephoartigasia monesi — may have used its chompers for more than nibbling away at carrots.
Josephoartigasia monesi is only known by its 20-inch skull, but researchers believe it weighed around 2,200 pounds and stood 5 feet tall. Its teeth were nearly a foot long.
To determine what the teeth might have been used for, researchers did a CT scan of the skull, creating a computer model of it (and the lower jaw, which they constructed based on related animals). Then they analyzed how much force the jaw would produce during a bite.
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SOURCE: The Washington Post, Rachel Feltman