Toothy, Big and Ready to Hunt
Pampas Killer was a dinocephalian therapsid, meaning that it was a mammal-like reptile, said Cisneros, a paleontologist at the Centro de Ciências da Natureza, Universidade Federal do Piauí. It measured close to 10 feet long and weighed more than a lion.
Four long canine teeth -- two upper and two lower -- were hooked shape, allowing it to tightly hold prey. Humans were not around during this animal's lifetime, thank goodness, because we might have been a tasty snack. Instead, this hunter often killed pareiasaurs, which were big, armored reptiles, and the anomodont Tiarajudens.
"We are very excited about this find because, for many years, the land mammals that lived during the Permian period in South America were represented only by herbivores," Cisneros said. "Of course, where you have herbivores you also have predators, but now there is definite proof."