We all know that snakes are the only producer of venom. But a new study has come up with a new view that can challenge this long-established guesswork. The research, conducted by the scholars of the Wits University, Johannesburg, South Africa has claimed the ancient mammals to be the first animal to produce poison. By using Computerized Tomography (CT) technology, the researchers have found a dog-sized creature to be the first animal to produce venom.
As highlighted by the study, an isolated, pre-mammalian reptile, who used to live some 260 million years ago in the toxic South African environment, failed to survive the rough climatic conditions and started producing venom – nearly 100 million years earlier than the birth of the first-ever snake. It means, the old saying that snakes are the only reptile to create venom is somehow misinterpreted, and it is not the snake, but the dog-sized mammal that used to produce poison in the ancient earth.
Scientists by scanning the 260-million-year-old fossil gathered the evidence of oldest poisonous animal ever found. It is the first-of-its-kind study which focused more on exploring world’s earliest venomous animal. As per the pre-established hypothesis, snakes started evolving this venom some more than 150 years ago. But nearly 260 years ago, there was another dog-sized mammal, which used to turn out venom. Being unsuccessful to survive in the disastrous climate of South Africa, the animal is estimated to evolve its nature and started producing poison.
After analyzing the fossil, the researchers have given a detailed description of the dog-alike mysterious animal in their new study paper. As per the research paper, the mammal used to live in The Karoo, near Colesberg in South Africa. It had a deep and spherical cavity, at the rear of its canine teeth in the top chin. This upper jaw I estimated to help the animal used to turn out a deadly venomous cocktail that directly delivered into the mouth in the course of an innovative and polished canals system. Scientists have named the strange animal as ‘therapsid Euchambersia’.