Scientists have unearthed Fossils of utterly huge otter unearthed in China - State Tech News

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Scientists have unearthed Fossils of utterly huge otter unearthed in China

Scientists have unearthed Fossils of utterly huge otter unearthed in China

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Scientists have unearthed fossils of an intriguingly large otter as big as a wolf that frolicked in rivers and lakes in a lush, warm and humid wetlands region in south western China about 6.2 million years ago.

The outsize otter, called Siamogale melilutra, weighed about 110 pounds (50 kg) and measured up to 6-1/2 feet (2 meters) long, making it bigger than any of its cousins.

"Siamogale melilutra
reminds us, I think, of the diversity of life in the past & how many more questions there are still we have to answer. Who would have imagined a wolf-size otter?" said Denise Su, Cleveland Museum of Natural History curator of palaeobotany and palaeoecology.

It had enlarged cheek teeth and strong jaws that appear to have been used for crunching hard objects, perhaps large shellfish and freshwater mollusks, and was capable of swimming in shallow, swampy waters.

"I think it used its powerful jaws to crush hard clams for food, somewhat like modern sea otters, although the latter use stone tools to smash shells.

"If Siamogale melilutra was not smart enough to figure out tools, perhaps the only option left was to develop more powerful jaws by increasing body size," Wang added.

The fossils, found at a site in China's Yunnan Province, include a largely complete cranium and lower jaw, various teeth, and limb bones.

The skull was crushed eons ago during the fossilization process.The specialists utilized refined filtering to carefully recreate it, finding it gloated a blend of otter-like and badger-like skull and dental qualities. 

There was extreme enthusiasm for the fossil site on the grounds that an imperative ancient gorilla skull already had been uncovered there. Others fossils discovered incorporate elephants, rhinos, ungulates, deer, beavers, crocodiles and water winged creatures including ducks, swans and cranes. 

The biggest otter alive today is the South American monster stream otter, weighing up to around 70 pounds (32 kg). Otters have a place with a mammalian family including the weasel, badger, marten and mink. The most punctual known otter lived around 18 million years back. Be that as it may, otter development is not surely knew, with fossils uncommon and scattered the world over. 

Siamogale melilutra may not be the biggest otter ever, with fossils of another that might be the greatest already found in Africa. 

The exploration was distributed in the Journal of Systematic Paleontology.

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