The remains of an enormous plant-eating dicynodont creature called Lisowicia bojani were recently discovered in Poland -- and scientists believe that this ancient herbivore once existed 200 million years ago, during the late Triassic period.
As Phys.org reports, this strange creature had features which were very similar to a reptile, and also had a mouth shaped like beak. However, this large reptile was the size of an elephant -- weighing a whopping nine tons -- and was actually a mammal, despite its appearance.
In the new study which describes this astounding find, researchers from Poland were very clear that their discovery completely dispels the notion that dinosaurs at this time were the only large plant eaters roaming the Earth. And while other dicynodonts have certainly been discovered in other areas, these all would have lived during much earlier periods.
The herbivore Lisowicia bojani was given its name after the village in Poland that it was discovered in, and scientists note that this newly-discovered creature is considered to be a mammal. Paleontologist Grzegorz Niedzwiedzki, from the Uppsala University in Sweden, was co-author of the study on this new creature. He explained, "We used to think that after the end-Permian extinction, mammals and their relatives retreated to the shadows while dinosaurs rose up and grew to huge sizes."