Ancient, Giant Rodents Used Massive Teeth Like an Elephant’s Tusks

What a looker. (PHOTO CREDIT: James Gurney)
What a looker. (PHOTO CREDIT: James Gurney)

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.

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: The Washington Post, Rachel Feltman

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s