Enormous Mammal Cousin Unearthed


During the Triassic period (252-201 million years ago) reptiles looking like mammals called therapsids existed side by side with antecedents to dinosaurs, crocodiles, mammals, pterosaurs, turtles, frogs, and lizards. One cartel of therapsids is the dicynodonts.  Researchers at Uppsala University in Sweden, have found fossils from a contemporary genus of enormous dicynodonts.

The origins of earth date back to 4.5 billion years ago and have experienced many geological periods and astounding change. In the course of Triassic period, about 252-201 million years ago, all land on earth combined and apprised the enormous continent called Pangea. In the course of this era the initial dinosaurs came into existence as well as antecedents to crocodiles, mammals, pterosaurs, turtles, frogs, and lizards.

In the recent times scientists have shown interest in another type of animal, therapsids. Therapsids resembled mammal like reptile, and are antecedents to mammals involving humans found today. One cartel of therapsids is called dicynodonts. All species of dicynodonts were herbivores and their size extended from small burrowers to gigantic browsers. Most of them were devoid of teeth. They outlived the Permian mass extinction and became the commanding terrestrial herbivores in the Middle and Late Triassic.  They became extinct before the dinosaurs became the commanding form of tetrapod on land.

Researchers in the research program Evolution and Development have found fossils from a new species of dicynodonts in the Polish village of Lisowice. The species was named Lisowicia bojani on the lines of village and a German comparative anatomist named Ludwig Heinrich Bojanus who worked in Vilnius and is known for making several important anatomical discoveries.


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