Showing posts with label Thylacosmilus.. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Thylacosmilus.. Show all posts

Thylacosmilus and curious history.

When there are two animals that are very similar in weight, size, physical characteristics and occupying the same ecological niche but living in different places and have a different origin, we call this phenomenon convergent evolution. An example would be that we can illustrate the flight of pterodactyls and bats, both fly in a similar way but come from families, genera and different orders.



Well, now let's focus on the case of Thylacosmilus ... if we saw in reality, across the road in front of our house, we might seem an early saber-toothed, a prehistoric Smilodon... But although its appearance was similar, their underclass, order, family, are different Sabertooth Tiger. The Thylacosmilus had nothing to do with the Smilodon, was actually a marsupial and even looked like Sabretooth, was evolutionarily closer to that of a kangaroo Sabretooth we know.

This prehistoric animal appeared in South America about 7 million years ago, when it was an island that was separate from North America. It was stocky, though not enough the Smilodon, as large as the current Cougars and had fangs shaped knives about 15 cm, but unlike the Smilodon, Thylacosmilus fangs did not stop growing. In addition, the fangs are embedded in a cavity having the jaw bone and giving it a very peculiar appearance to its skull. In fact, its name means "pouch saber", referring to this feature.
Possibly be true that were the apex predator in South America, but this lasted until which lasted insulation island continent. This occurred in the late Pliocene and Central America new species were introduced from the north, including a saber-toothed cat but also bigger, more corpulent and willing to put at the top of the food chain. The Thylacosmilus rival, the known Smilodon, had arrived and soon took the place of the predator.

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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