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Latest Stephen Wroe Stories

Ancient Sabre-Like Toothed Predator Had Weaker Bite Than Domestic Cat
2013-07-02 10:13:13

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Millions of years ago, a bizarre, pouched super-predator terrorized South America with huge saber-like teeth. New research from the University of New South Wales (UNSW), however, shows the Thylacosmilus atrox had a bite weaker than that of a domestic cat. Marsupials in Australia and America are among the closest living relatives of the extinct T. atrox, which had tooth roots extending rearwards almost into its small braincase....

Humans Not Responsible For Megafauna Extinction
2013-05-07 09:05:58

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online An international team of researchers led by the University of New South Wales (UNSW) has completed a major review of the available evidence to conclude that most species of gigantic animals that once roamed the Australian continent disappeared before the arrival of humans. These findings were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and challenge the claim that humans were the primary cause of extinction for...

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2010-06-22 09:29:22

The robust jaws and formidable teeth of some of our ancestors and ape cousins may suggest that humans are wimps when it comes to producing a powerful bite: but a new study has found the opposite is true, with major implications for our understanding of diet in ancestral humans. The surprise findings suggest that early modern humans did not necessarily need to use tools and cooking to process high-nutrient hard foods, such as nuts - and perhaps less tough foods such as meat - but may have lost...

2008-04-16 14:49:50

Komodo dragons may have a wimpy bite for their size, but somehow the giant lizards manage to take down prey as large as water buffalos. A new study reveals that a few dozen razor-sharp teeth combined with beefy neck muscles make up for the reptile's dainty chomp. "The Komodo has a featherweight, space-frame skull and bites like a wimp, but a combination of very clever engineering and wickedly sharp teeth allow it to do serious damage," said Stephen Wroe, a biologist at the...

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2008-04-14 10:15:00

The fearsome Komodo dragon is the world's largest living lizard and can take very large animal prey: now a new international study has revealed how it can be such an efficient killing machine despite having a wimpy bite and a featherweight skull.A member of the goanna family with ancestors dating back more than 100 million years, the dragon (Varanus komodoensis) uses a combination of 60 razor-sharp serrated teeth, powerful neck muscles and what researchers are calling a "space-frame" skull to...

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2008-01-17 09:05:00

Pound for pound, Australia's extinct marsupial lion (Thylacoleo carnifex) would have made mince meat of today's African lion (Panthera leo) had the two big hyper-carnivores ever squared off in a fight to the death, according to an Australian scientist. New research published in the Journal of Zoology suggests that Thylacoleo killed prey rapidly, using its "bolt-cutter" type teeth to scissor through hide and flesh to produce major trauma and blood loss. By contrast, African lions and similar...


Word of the Day
mundungus
  • A stinking tobacco.
  • Offal; waste animal product; organic matter unfit for consumption.
This word comes from the Spanish 'mondongo,' tripe, entrails.