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Hunting methods of prehistoric dogs uncovered



  Hesperocyon gregarius

Image copyright
Julia Schwab

Picture caption

The skull of the first species of dog, known as Hesperocyon gregarius

Scientists have found new information on how prehistoric dogs hunted 40 million years ago ̵

1; analyzing the skulls of lions, wolves and hyenas

Experts in Scotland and Austria have discovered that the first species of dog known as Hesperocyon gregarius, pounces on the prey in the same way as today they make species like foxes and coyotes.

They also discovered that the largest species of dogs were hunting similarly.

The epicyon haydeni could grow to the size of a grizzly bear.

He lived from 16 million to seven million years ago.

Copyright of the image
Julia Schwab

Picture caption

The first species of dog, known as Hesperocyon gregarius, pounces on prey in the same way as today they make species like foxes and coyotes

The study focused on hunting methods used by prehistoric members of a group of mammals known as carnivores, which includes foxes, wolves, pumas and leopards of modern times.

Scientists at the universities of Edinburgh and Vienna used computerized scans of modern fossils and animals to create digital patterns of the inner ears of 36 types of carnivore, including six extinct species.

Experts have found that the size of three bone channels in the inner ear, the organ that controls balance and hearing, has changed over the course of millions of years, the animals have adopted different hunting styles.

Faster predators, such as cheetahs, lions and wolves, developed large ear canals that allowed them to keep their head and vision stable while pursuing speed prey. 19659007] According to research, the structure of the inner ear indicates whether a species descends from animals similar to dogs or animals that resemble cats.

A distinctive angle between two parts of the and ar is much larger in dog-like animals, the team found.

The study is based on research carried out by the Edinburgh doctoral student Julia Schwab during her studies in Vienna.

Ms Schwab, of the School of GeoSciences of the University of Edinburgh, said: "For me, the inner ear is the most interesting organ of the body, as it offers incredible visions on animals ancient and how they lived.

"The first dog and the greatest dog of all time are so fascinating specimens to study, because in the world there is nothing similar to the world. "

The study was published in the journal Scientific Reports.


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