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Enhydriodon, giant prehistoric otter

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  • 28-03-2011 8:05am
    #1
    Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭


    Seems that this one has been overshadowed by the giant bunny Nuralagus.
    Hodari Nundu off Deviantart has this sketch of Enhydriodon, a giant Pliocene otter, about to eat a croc; supossedly the animal weighed bout 400 lbs!

    http://hodarinundu.deviantart.com/#/d3cn9jo

    Tried to find more pics, maybe of the fossils, but nothing :S


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 30,746 ✭✭✭✭Galvasean


    It's hard to find anything about it online. Whenever I search I get refered to the similarly named Enhydrocyon, a sort of dog from Ogliocene north America.

    There is a paper on Enhydriodon (the otter) here, but it is not public domain (ie: you have to pay to read it in full). The free abstract says:
    We describe here a new species of gigantic otter, Enhydriodon dikikae, sp. nov., from the Pliocene of Dikika, in the lower Awash valley of Ethiopia. The holotype consists of an associated snout and mandible, and is the most complete fossil specimen of a large bunodont otter. In some features, such as its very large size, the loss of anterior premolars, the tall protocone of P4, and the divided paraconid of m1, this species illustrates the culmination of general trends in this group, but the most remarkable part of its dentition is the broad incisor arch and powerful canine battery. The purported distinction between Enhydriodon and Sivaonyx is discussed, and the hypothesis of distinct African and Asian lineages is rejected. Postcranial remains confirm that Enhydriodon dikikae, sp. nov., was probably mostly terrestrial, but its diet remains uncertain, as none of the suggested preys fully explains the anatomical adaptations and relative abundance of this species.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,551 ✭✭✭Rubecula




  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭Adam Khor


    Interesting, so one of the sources states that it was semiaquatic and the other that it was terrestrial. Typical mess XD

    I do remember a giant otter was already known from Sardinia I believe, Megalenhydris, from the Pleistocene, which was probably marine. But they say it was about the size of a cougar, while Enhydriodon was more similar in size to a lion... Add the fact that today's giant Amazonian river otter (which weighs only 45 kgs, being much smaller than both Megalenhydris and Enhydriodon), is considered by experts to be "highly dangerous", particularly when in captivity, and Enhydriodon seems like a very scary prehistoric critter all right :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 30,746 ✭✭✭✭Galvasean


    Otter Attacks Village

    If thaat little guy could cause all of that trouble, imagine what a giant one could do! :eek:

    Otter-Attack.jpg&sa=X&ei=Kv-tTYekB8ewhAfVnLGdDA&ved=0CAQQ8wc4Eg&usg=AFQjCNHbKvuyCCdcEavcjqQcS_Bk-kv9wg


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭Adam Khor


    Galvasean wrote: »
    Otter Attacks Village

    If thaat little guy could cause all of that trouble, imagine what a giant one could do! :eek:

    Otter-Attack.jpg&sa=X&ei=Kv-tTYekB8ewhAfVnLGdDA&ved=0CAQQ8wc4Eg&usg=AFQjCNHbKvuyCCdcEavcjqQcS_Bk-kv9wg

    Cool pic! :D

    Yes indeed, imagine if an Enhydriodon showed up in a golf course lake or something! Scary...


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  • Registered Users Posts: 30,746 ✭✭✭✭Galvasean


    Did somebody say.... SyFy original film?!?!?!?!?!?! :D


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭Adam Khor


    Galvasean wrote: »
    Did somebody say.... SyFy original film?!?!?!?!?!?! :D

    I was thinking something more like awesome Primeval episode :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 30,746 ✭✭✭✭Galvasean


    Never got into that show despite knowing someone who worked as a PA on a few episodes...

    That said, this was pretty epic:


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭Adam Khor


    Galvasean wrote: »
    Never got into that show despite knowing someone who worked as a PA on a few episodes...

    That said, this was pretty epic:

    Agreed, one of the best and fiercest battles ever seen on a screen. This is what creature battles should be like; fast and ferocious, not eternal and over the top like, ahem, King Kong.


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