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‘Hyperpredator’ Ancient Hyena Could Hunt a Young Mastodon On Its Own

Oct 28, 2015 02:01 PM EDT

Pleistocene Landscape Illustration
(Photo : Illustration: Roman Uchytel) A British Pleistocene landscape during an interglacial with cavern lion, straight-tusked elephants, narrow-nosed rhinoceros, steppe bison, aurochs, and hippopotamus.

A organisation of scientists minute how an ancient cavern hyena was intensely melancholy and gallant to take on chase most than itself.

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According to Live Science, a rapacious cat was means to best a five-year-old mastodon on a own, even yet it weighed ceiling of a ton. But when a hyena was with a pack, a organisation was able of preying on mastodons a that were a few years comparison and another ton heavier.

Published in a biography Proceedings of a National Academy of Sciences, a new study sum how “hypercarnivores” pounded chase most incomparable than they were.

“Large herbivores are not merely victims of a resources they live in, though actively operative their environment. This has vital consequences for other species, and for a structure of a whole landscape,” investigate lead author Liesbeth Bakker, from a Netherlands Institute of Ecology, said in a press release. “Acknowledging a vital ecosystem-engineering purpose of vast herbivores, we can’t suppose that foliage stayed a same regardless of their participation or deficiency in a Late Pleistocene.”

The researchers found that hypercarnivores – a cavern hyena and sabertooth tiger – helped control populations of megaherbivores like elephants. When left unchecked, those vast plant eaters, that are flattering commanding to intensity predators, tend to interrupt their habitat’s foliage by extending too much.

“Scientists didn’t unequivocally know how most bigger some of these Pleistocene predators were than complicated ones,” investigate lead author Blaire Van Valkenburgh, an evolutionary biologist during a University of California, Los Angeles, told Live Science. “The organisation sizes of predators were extremely incomparable in a past than they are today, that would have done it easier for them to take down vast prey.”

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Article source: http://www.universityherald.com/articles/25440/20151028/hyperpredator-ancient-hyena-could-hunt-a-young-mastodon-on-its-own.htm

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