Bruhathkayosaurus measuring


As we have the latest posts dedicated to mammals, marsupials antique and prehistoric arthropods, the truth is that this time I wanted to speak again about dinosaurs, large reptiles ... titanic sized reptiles ... I love it!


The prehistoric animal which we will discuss today, is called Bruhathkayosaurus (which does not refer to a yoga posture which we might call "the reptile"). Its name comes from the Sanskrit bruhath (बृहत) "big, fat", and Kaya (काय) "body" and then, from the Greek meaning saurus reptile: the lizard of large, heavy body.

The Bruhathkayosaurus, and specifically the spice called matleyi, was a giant sauropod, titanosaurids-called. A titanic as the famous sauropod Argentinosaurus and Diplodocus: large herbivorous reptiles 4 legs, long necks and long tails.

By name, Bruhathkayosaurus, we can intuit that the bones have been found in India. And their fossilized bones can extract and calculate the dimensions of this amazing beast. Compare with the two other known sauropods.

The Diplodocus was 30 feet and 80 tons.

The Argentinosaurus 35 meters and 100 tons (some think more).

The Bruhathkayosaurus measuring 40 meters and could weigh up to 140 tons.


If one day we will be sure of the existence of Amphicoelias, Bruhathkayosaurus could say that would be the second largest dinosaur on Earth ... but since we are not sure of the existence of Amphicoelias we can say: the Bruhathkayosaurus, the animal was longer and heavier than ever existed. I will not get into an argument about its dimensions ... if yes, if not ... the point is that rivaled in size with the known Argentinosaurus. (sorry for the Argentines who were proud of the huge prehistoric animal bearing the name of their country).

Keep in mind that 140 tons is a lot, sometimes, we get lost in numbers and costs us get an idea of ​​the size ... for example, we can compare it with 21 male African elephants.


The Bruhathkayosaurus lived in the late Cretaceous period in the Maastrichtian, 70 million years ago in what is now the Indian subcontinent.

Sabertoothed vs Cave lion



At the end, when I put the title, I opted for the most striking title, but my intention was to title this entry: "Cave Lion, Sabretooth and Isthmus of Panama" ... for being this last element would change the configuration of these super-predators who lived North and South America. Let me explain.

Now, to get into this exciting evolutionary battle, we must consider two things:

1 - Today, the largest cat is the Siberian Tiger ... to about 105 cm and 220 kg.

2 - South and North America were cut off, separated by an ocean, and different species living in each of the old continent.

When in one place and at the same time coincide two similar species with similar characteristics and common prey, one of the two species usually be favored over the other. The species "loser" or disappears or should look other prey in other ecological niches that are not exploited by the species "winner". This, over the years can promote morphological changes occur in the species "loser" and then, the two species are no longer rivals to specialize each in their prey and their characteristics.

Well, this I had to tell you that you may understand better what happened between these two species: American cave lion (Panthera leo atrox) and the saber-toothed tiger (Similodon).

In the Pleistocene, there were these two species. The cave lion was king. It was clever, powerful, with a strong bite and we could say it was the super-predator. It weighed about 360 kg - 400 kg and no other animals, such as wolves, bears or other feline, was able to intimidate it. In fact, in its name we can appreciate the sentiment that created to its discoverers, atrox means terrible.

Then we have the second best, it was the saber tooth tiger (Smilodon fatalis), not that it was small. It was quite large and robust enough, maybe a little less intelligent and less social life. It weighed about 280 kg, so we could say that weighed the same as a Siberian tiger overweight ... but that does not exist in nature.

The cave lion weighed fourth part the sabertooth. And with that weight, this old lion, keeping at bay potential sabertooth. It would be like the African lion and leopard. The saber-tooth (as leopard) had to settle for smaller prey with other predators steal them and take care that they are not stolen and ultimately ... was content to be in the shadow of the Great Cave Lion .... But this did not last long ... the Sabretooth had his opportunity and took it.


In the mid-Pleistocene and in a process that lasted hundreds of years, North America joined with the south, forming what we known today as the Isthmus of Panama. This event is one of the most important, geologically speaking, of which have occurred in the last 60 million years. Varied weather gave way to global and fauna from north to south, and vice versa ... is called the Great American Interchange.

The first cross was the Smilodon fatalis. Over time and thanks to the lack of predators (thought) evolved a new species called Smilodon populator a kind to settle at the top of the food pyramid, a prehistoric beast weighing 450 kg, more robust and larger than not only its relative the Smilodon fatalis, but also that their "oppressor" of the north, the Cave Lion North America.


Two species maintained their reigns until a few thousand years ago, our ancestors probably met them, and some were killed in confrontations with these powerful animals: The Lion cave in the north and Sabretooth in the south.

Proborhyaena gigantea o marsupial Bear.

Image from http://vice12345.deviantart.com/

Until recently, the largest marsupial carnivore position was occupied by the Lion carnifex marsupial or Thylacoleo reaching measures similar to those of a lioness taking anabolic. But the new number one, the largest carnivorous marsupial, is now the marsupial Bear  or Proborhyaena gigantea. An animal that if we compared the marsupial lion with a lioness; we can compare the marsupial Bear with a grizzly bear ... perhaps hence the name ... (although his jaw broken bones as the hyena, that is also related to its name).

The Proborhyena could weigh up to 1100 lb (500 kg) and 10,5 ft. (3.5 meters) long, it was not very agile, but it was quick and short but explosive career, typical of large and heavy hunters. It was a carnivore with a peculiar teeth: its fangs were projected forward and also would not stop growing. This is complemented with robust skull, 60 cm long, and a powerful and muscular neck. So it is easy to imagine that when the marsupial bear biting their prey hardly escaped. It was like a pittbull but 40 times bigger.

Image from http://other-worlds.ucoz.ru/

Although some experts believe that usually, this prehistoric predator rather than hunt, began to steal prey from other predators (size permitting). And thanks to the wear of the teeth, experts have concluded that it was dedicated to crushing bones to eat: from animals hunted either carrion than it could take. The denture reminds Tasmanian devils now living today.


Taxonomically, is related to the Thylacosmilus, which we'll talk another day. It lived from the Eocene to the Oligocene in South America.
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