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"Saber-Toothed Protomammal was a Quick Healer" Topic


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©1994-2021 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP07 May 2020 8:08 p.m. PST

"Prehistoric carnivores are larger than life. They often loom large in our imaginations larger than they ever were in life and fight so fiercely that they seem to be prime, perfect specimens or are suddenly dead in the jaws of another. It's rare that we envision them wearing the scars and injuries that they must have acquired with time the Allosaurus jimmadseni nicknamed "Big Al" has at least 19 pathologies from what must have been a very hard life, indeed.

And so it is with the sabertoothed gorgonopsians. These protomammal relatives of ours are often cast as Permian monsters made to order. A particularly large form of this strange carnivorous breed was a recurring villain on the show Primeval, and gorgonopsians remain cult classics within the fossiliferous fandom for their fierce appearance and presumably vicious eating habits. A little extra fang seems to glint with malevolent purpose. But these synapsids were not flawless killers. They dealt with injury, infection, disease, and the painful parts of life, too. A fossil described by Kyle Kato and colleagues is such a case study in Permian pain…"
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