Tuesday 12 September 2023

Pampaphoneus biccai unveiled in Brazil

40 million years before dinosaurs ruled, Pampaphoneus biccai dominated South America as the apex preditor and most bloodthirsty meat eater of its time. Researchers have revealed a 265-million-year-old, exquisitely preserved fossil of Pampaphoneus biccai, found in the rural area of São Gabriel, Southern Brazil. Pampaphoneus lived just before the largest extinction event in the history of Earth that eliminated 86% of all animal species worldwide. Before the extinction event, dinocephalians were one of the major groups of large terrestrial animals that thrived on land.
The animal had large, sharp canine teeth adapted for capturing prey. Its dentition and cranial architecture suggest that its bite was strong enough to chew bones, much like modern-day hyenas.
Researchers estimate that the largest Pampaphoneus could reach nearly three meters in length and weigh around 400kg. It was a skilled predator.