According to a recent study conducted by a team of researchers from the University of York in collaboration with The Hull York Medical School, the largest rodent that ever lived on earth had a bite as strong as a tiger’s.
The rodent’s skull was discovered in Uruguay in 2007 and measures 20.8 inches (approximately 53 centimeters).
The experts say that the rodent, which was as big as a buffalo, lived approximately three million years ago, during the Pliocene age, and used its teeth to look for food and as a defense weapon against predators.
The ancient giant rodent’s scientific name is Josephoartigasia monesi and is a close relative to the modern guinea pig. The scientists believe this big rodent weighed almost a metric ton.
In order to estimate how strong the rodent’s bite was, the experts used computer simulated methods. According to their findings, the ancient rodent’s bite has a force of about 1,400 Newtons, which is approximately the same as that of an adult tiger.
The research revealed that the rodent’s incisor teeth were able to withstand approximately three times of the total amount of the biting force.
The scientists were able to virtually reconstruct the animal’s skull and subject it to finite element analysis. This method helped the experts predict strain and tress using a complex geometric object.
One of the leaders of the study, Dr. Philip Cox, scientist at the University of York, explained that his team of scientists has come to the conclusion that the ancient giant rodent used its sharp incisors for other activities other than biting. According to Dr. Cox, the animal used its teeth to dig the ground looking for food, and to defend itself against predators.
Dr. Cox said that the rodent used its incisors similar to how an elephant uses its big tusks.
The largest living rodent is the eight stone capybara that lives in South America, while the smallest rodent on Earth is the pygmy jerboa from Pakistan.
The recent study that showed the ancient rodent’s bite was as powerful as a tiger’s was published in the Journal of Anatomy.
Image Source: universityherald