June 5, 2023

Great Indian Mutiny

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A saber-toothed marsupial predator replaces its teeth with the eyes of a cow

With two huge canines, an L-shaped jaw, and a pouch for carrying a young marsupial Thylacosmilus atrox Sounds like an evolutionary Madlib. But the researchers have now described something additional: surprisingly wide eyes, more typical of horses and cows than carnivores.

discovery makes The predator is a more interesting, uplifting specimen Questions about how engineers evolve Predators And why the marsupial in South America The evolution of such an unusual visual layout. Team results published Today in Communication Biology.

“Compensation seems to be the key to understanding how the skull of Thylacosmilus was put together,” said Ross McPhee, senior curator of the American Museum of Natural History and co-author of the paper, at the museum. launch. “In fact, the growth pattern of the canines during early cranial development would have shifted the orbits away from the front of the face, leading to the outcome we see in adult skulls.”

Thylacosmilus It was larger than any marsupial that exists today. weighs more than three times As far as the thylacinethe The largest carnivorous marsupial until its extinction in the 1930s.

accident Carnivores (including the thylacine, until its demise) usually have eyes towards The front part of their face, which gives them stereoscopic vision, helps them Determine the exact location of their prey. With eyes on either side of your head, you have less overlap in what Your eyes can see.

But as seen in the new research, ThylacosmilusThe morphology of the position of the eye sockets was corrected by making them stick out Skull orient them vertically. This placement improved the Predator’s orbital overlap.

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Scholars appreciated Thylacosmilus ‘ orbital convergence He is as low as 35 degrees (For comparison, a domestic cat’s affinity is about 65 degrees.) But the visual field of the follicular still manages to be about 70% overlapping, giving the creature a fair amount of 3D vision despite the position of the cow’s eye sockets.

Root sabertooth’s marsupial huge fangs eXtendiDr over the top from her skull. As a result, there was no room for it Introduction of the animal’s head to the eyes.

But why did you Thylacosmilus bothering to develop such a wonderful pair of canines? if they were Like these Saber-tooth cats, they would have been used for piercing enemies. but Thylacosmilus It was an ambush predator, and the subtle utility of it Elusive dagger-like fangs.

“Looking for clear adaptive explanations in evolutionary biology is fun but largely pointless,” said Analia Voracibe, a researcher at the Instituto Argentino de Nevologia, Glaciology, E Ciencias Ampienteles and Coniste, at the museum. launch. “One thing is clear: Thylacosmilus was not a freak by nature, but in its time and place it seems to have managed to survive as an ambush predator.”

“We might look at it as an anomaly because it doesn’t fit into our predetermined categories of what a mammalian carnivore should look like, but evolution sets its own rules,” Vorasipe added.

Thylacosmilus Most likely died about 3 a million years ago. Other large marsupial predators have recently become extinct. thylacoleoThe marsupial lion is native to AustraliaHe was the eldest of the group aIt is believed to have disappeared About 35,000 years ago. Around the same time, A.J Tree-climbing kangaroos are five times larger than their modern siblings Also extinct on the continent.

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