Berlin – A giant beak-and-reptile-eating plant has probably traveled the Earth during the late Triassic period of more than 200 million years ago, scientists said on Thursday.
In a report published on Thursday by the Science magazine, Polish researchers argue that their finding overturns the idea that the only giant plant-eating ones were then dinosaurs.
The famous ivory, known as Lysuvision, rich after a village in southern Poland, where its remains are found, belongs to the same evolutionary branch as mammals.
Similar fossils from so-called painkillers have been found elsewhere, but they were dated from an earlier period before a series of natural disasters destroyed most of the species on Earth.
"We thought that after the end of the Peruvian extinction the mammals and their relatives withdrew in the shadows, while the dinosaurs rose and grew to huge size," says Gregor Nedjievsky, a paleontologist at the University of Uppsala, Sweden, who co-authored the book.
The discovery of giant dyskinodontes living at the same time as sauropods – a dinosaur family branch that later produces the emblematic long-lived math – suggests that environmental factors at the end of the triassic period may have propelled the evolution of gigantism.
Christian Kammerre, a specialist in dyskinodon at the Natural Sciences Museum in North Carolina, who was not included in the find, said that the size of Lissavision was "amazed."
"The great dictonians were known before and in the Permian and Triassic, but never on this scale," he said.
Camerrer said that while there are dictinons and dinosaurs, there is still no evidence that they live in the same habitat. He also challenges the conclusions of the poll on the position of Lissavision
"However, in general, I think this is a very intriguing and important document, and it shows us that there is still much to be learned about the early tribal relatives," Cammer said.