Count Mousey?

March 3rd, 2015

Count Mousey?

Recent talks earlier this month involved an extinct rodent, the biggest ever, had front teeth used similarly the way elephants use their tusks.

What? A rodent the size of a bull was said to use its teeth scavenging for food in the ground or warding off predators (obviously). The 20-inch skull of this extinct creature was unearthed in Uruguay on a beach and was well-preserved. Speculations say that the rodent could have grown to weight about 2,200 pounds.

The second biggest rodent species ever found was weighed in to have been around 1,500 pounds. This new discovery beats the second by 700 pounds. Today’s largest rodent, the capybara only weighs in at about 130 pounds. Sorry, capy, but they outdo you.

But then that just inspired all new kinds of nightmares if you have a fear of rodents and finding this fossil of a cow sized rodent doesn’t help at all. Can you imagine, if this creature were carnivorous and it was chasing you down across the prairie?

Never mind, don’t picture that. Don’t chance an anxiety attack.

Scientists are still unsure what they used their front teeth for. But it has been suggested that they had weak chewing muscles and small grinding teeth. Thus had to rely on soft vegetation and fruit. But this is a bit troubling as most rodents have strong bites, and massive specimen wouldn’t have been any different, if not stronger.

The bite force would have been the same as a tigers, estimates say. Scarier is that the force at the incisors and third molar could be three times the amount at 936 pounds force. Talk about taking a chunk of out you and wanting your rabies shot.

So being equipped with such astonishing bite force, what the heck were those front teeth or incisors used for then?

As mentioned earlier in the beginning, foraging in the ground for food is an option and defending its self are still options up for debate that seem to be going nowhere soon. But then what else would the teeth be used for if not for food and defense, really?

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