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Giant mammal “cousin” discovery – HeritageDaily

During the tribe period (252-201 million years ago) mammal-like encryptions as terapides existed with ancestors of dinosaurs, crocodiles, mammals, pterosaurs,…

During the tribe period (252-201 million years ago) mammal-like encryptions as terapides existed with ancestors of dinosaurs, crocodiles, mammals, pterosaurs, turtles, frogs and lizards.

A group of therapists are the dicynodons. Researchers at Uppsala University in Sweden, together with colleagues in Poland, have discovered fossils from a new genus of giant dicynodont. The new species Lisowicia Bojani is described in the journal Science .

Earth is approximately 4.5 billion years old and has gone through many geological periods and dramatic changes. During the tribe period, about 252-201 million years ago, the whole country came together to form the massive continent Pangea. During this time the first dinosaurs came as ancestors of crocodiles, mammals, pterosaurs, turtles, frogs and lizards. Recently, researchers have been interested in another type of animal therapy. Therapists were “mammalian” reptiles and are ancestors of mammals, including humans found today. A group of therapists is called dicynodonter. All species of dicynodonts were plant herbs (plant eaters) and their sizes ranged from small burrowers to big browsers. Most of them were also toothless. They survived the perennial mass extinction and became dominant field-based plant eaters in the mid and late triass. They were thought to have died before the dinosaurs became the dominant form of tetrapod on land.

For the first time, researchers in the research program Evolution and Development at Uppsala University in collaboration with researchers at the Polish Academy of Sciences (Warsaw) have discovered fossils from a new species of dicynodontics in the Polish village Lisowice. The species is called Lisowicia Bojani after the village and a German comparative anatomist named Ludwig Heinrich Bojanus, who worked in Vilnius and is famous for making several important anatomical discoveries. The results show that Lisowicia was about a modern elephant’s size, about 4.5 meters long, 2.6 meters tall and weighed about 9 tons, which is 40 percent greater than any previously identified dicynodontics. Analysis of the leg bones showed that they had rapid growth, much like a mammal or a dinosaur. It lived in the late triune, about 21

0-205 million years ago, about 10 million years later than previous discoveries of dicynodonts.

“The discovery of Lisowicia changes our ideas about the latest story of dicynodonas, mammals, Trias relatives. It also raises many more questions about what really makes them and dinosaurs so big,” says Dr. Tomasz Sulej, Polish Academy of Sciences.

“Dicynodonters were incredibly successful animals in the middle and late triass. Lisowicia is the youngest dicynodontes and the largest non-dinosauric terrestrial tetrapod from Triassic. It’s natural to want to know how dicynodonts became so big. Lisowicia is hugely exciting because it’s blowing holes in many of our classic ideas about triassic “mammalian reptiles”, says Dr. Grzegorz Niedzwiedzki, Uppsala University.

The first results of fossils from Lisowice in Poland were made in 2005 by Robert Borz? Cki and Piotr Menducki. Since then, more than 1000 leg and bone fragments are collected from the area including fossil from Lisowicia. The area is considered to have been a river insertion during the late triassic period.

The discovery of Lisowicia is the first evidence that mammalian elephant size dicotonyms were present while the more famous long-necked sauropodomorphic dinosaurs, in contrast to previous beliefs. Sauropodomorphs in Includes species like Diplodocus or Brachiosaurus. It fills a gap in the fossil disk of dicynodonts and it shows that some anatomical properties of limbs that believed characterize large mammals or dinosaurs were also developed in the synapse side without mammals. Finally, these findings from Poland are the first significant discoveries of dicynodons from the late trias in Europe.

“The discovery of such an important new species is a discovery once in a lifetime,” says Dr. Tomasz Sulej.


Header Image – The limb of dicynodont, Lisowice locality, Silesia, Poland. Credit: Grzegorz Niedzwiedzki

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