Name: Lisowicia ‭(‬named after the Polish village of Lisowice where the first fossils where found‭)‬.
Phonetic: Lis-o-we-ce-ah.
Named By: Tomasz Sulej‭ & ‬Grzegorz Niedźwiedzki‭ ‬-‭ ‬2019.
Classification: ‭ ‬Chordata,‭ ‬Therapsida,‭ ‬Dicynodontia.
Species: L.‭ ‬bojani‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Herbivore.
Size: Largest known femur‭ ‬80‭ ‬centimetres long.‭ ‬Holotype remains roughly estimated to be from an individual up to‭ ‬4.5‭ ‬meters long.‭
Known locations: Poland.
Time period: Late Norian/early Rhaetian of the Triassic.
Fossil representation: Partial remains,‭ ‬including‭ ‬skull bones,‭ ‬partial jaws,‭ ‬post cranial skeleton including partial limbs,‭ ‬ribs and vertebrae.

       When fossils where first reported in‭ ‬2008,‭ ‬it was clear that that these were the bones of what would become one of the more noteworthy dicynodonts.‭ ‬Formally named over ten years later,‭ ‬Lisowicia is by far one of the largest,‭ ‬if not the largest dicynodonts‭ ‬that ever lived.‭ ‬A second feature of note is that all four legs of Lisowicia seem to support the body from underneath,‭ ‬quite different to the majority of known dicynodonts where the front limbs especially splay out to the sides.
       Why Lisowicia grew so large is a question with many possible answers.‭ ‬Lisowicia lived in the late Triassic period,‭ ‬many millions of years after the mass extinction that marks the end of the Permian period.‭ ‬By this time the supercontinent of Pangea was breaking up,‭ ‬and plants of all types were spreading all over,‭ ‬meaning that there was more food than ever for herbivores.‭ ‬There was also fresh new competition for these plants with rhynchosaurs and herbivorous cynodonts becoming common,‭ ‬and these were better suited to feeding upon low growing plants.‭ ‬By growing larger,‭ ‬Lisowicia could focus more upon eating the larger vegetation that was out of reach of these herbivores,‭ ‬though ultimately may have faced pressure from emerging sauropodomorph dinosaurs.
       Another factor to consider is the emergence of larger predators.‭ ‬Hunters such as rausuchians,‭ ‬archosaurs of various types and even primitive dinosaurs were all active,‭ ‬and the excessive growth of Lisowicia may have meant that it was just too much trouble for most of these predators to deal,‭ ‬at least when fully grown.‭ ‬However,‭ ‬most is not necessarily all,‭ ‬and one archosaurian predator that lived in the same location at the same approximate time as Lisowicia is the five to six meter long Smok wawelski.‭

Further reading
-‭ ‬A Dicynodont-Theropod Association in the Latest Triassic of Poland,‭ ‬Acta Palaeontologica Polonica.‭ ‬53‭ (‬4‭) ‬-‭ ‬Jerzy Dzik,‭ ‬Tomasz Sulej‭ & ‬Grzegorz Niedźwiedzki‭ ‬-‭ ‬2008.
-‭ ‬An elephant-sized Late Triassic synapsid with erect limbs‭ ‬-‭ ‬Science.‭ ‬by Tomasz Sulej‭ & ‬Grzegorz Niedźwiedzki‭ ‬-‭ ‬2019.


Random favourites